What is Paycor?

Paycor is a cloud-based provider of an HR and payroll software suite for small to medium-sized businesses. The Paycor range of products encompasses workforce management and benefits administration, HR and payroll software, and talent management and employee experience tools. Catering to businesses having from one to 1,000 plus employees, Paycor states that its aim is to simplify the HR and payroll function, keep you compliant with tax and payroll legislation, and save you time.

Paycor was founded 25 years ago by a young Cincinnati-based entrepreneur called Bob Coughlin. Coughlin recognized the rise in the personal computer and, with a background in payroll services, began serving small business customers to ease their payroll burden. Expanding into HR services and creating purpose-designed software that offers a better user experience, Paycor is now Nasdaq stock exchange listed, employs over 1,500 workers, and exceeds $200 million in annual revenues.

Paycor’s core offer to businesses with less than fifty employees is a payroll service with new hire filing and an employee self-service portal. An auto-run payroll service includes direct deposit or check stuffing and meets your federal and state tax filing obligations. Basic wage garnishments are included in the core services. Depending on your subscription plan with Paycor, additional HR and payroll features are unlocked. Access to an HR center, time off requests, and paid time off tracking become available, as do onboarding and 401(k) processing and integration.

On the higher plans, one-on-one guidance from an HR professional, career and talent management, and compensation planning is added. Additional payroll functions also become enabled as you climb higher in the subscription tiers, with on-demand pay, general ledger reports, and month-end accounting all supported. A range of reporting and analytics features support payroll benchmarking, diversity and inclusion metrics, and insights into your compensation strategy. If your business has more than fifty employees, Paycor encourages you to contact them for a personalized quote.

What popular features do you get with Paycor?

  • Time & attendance software
  • Unified expense management
  • Predictive data analytics
  • Customizable policies

  • Managed payroll and tax compliance
  • Career development program
  • Employee shift and scheduling feature
  • ACA reporting and filing solution

  • Benchmarking against your competition
  • Pay-as-you-go benefits compliance
  • Employee learning management system
  • The streamlined new-hire onboarding process

Customer Support is available at Paycor

Paycor provides a support center portal that you can log into and access the support you need. There is an extensive knowledge base, interactive training, and webinars. You also have the option of a live chat with what Paycor calls “an advocate.” Other than that, there are other methods to assist you in contacting help, but short of logging in, we can only assume they include telephone and email support. The website does not give the customer support hours of operation.


What kind of business is Paycor ideal for?

While Paycor states they can support companies with only one employee, and there’s no doubt they can, the price per month would be prohibitive. In truth, you won’t start to see a reasonable per-head cost until you have six or more employees. Below that, other platform providers offer similar services at a lower price. We feel the sweet spot for Paycor is companies with eight to fifty employees. Once you get above that number, you’ll still get value from Paycor, but the payroll may be a little limiting, and you may require more sophisticated HR support.

Pros and Cons

  • Cloud-based immediate updates, not batched
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • On-demand pay
  • Compliance support
  • Mobile app
  • Full-service payroll
  • Simple to use
  • Great employee scheduling capability
  • Free payroll for one month
  • Free setup

  • Expensive for small companies
  • Limited benefits package
  • Obscure pricing above 50 employees

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How much does Paycor cost?

*based on information provided by the vendor. Actual cost may vary.

Paycor offers pricing for businesses with up to 50 employees. Above that, you need to contact their sales department for a personalized quote.
The four plans for sub-fifty employees comprise Basic, Essential, Core, and Complete.

Basic gives you a full-service payroll, with little in the way of HR other than new hire filing and an employee self-service portal. The Basic package costs $99 per month, plus $5 per employee.

The Essential package includes the full-service payroll while adding on-demand pay and 401(k) integration and processing. The HR features include an HR support center, onboarding support, time off management, and wage garnishment. You also gain some accounting functionality with a month-end accounting package, a general ledger report, job costing, and expense management. The Essentials package costs $149 per month and $7 per employee.

The Core package includes all in the Essentials package with added HR components, including an on-demand HR support center, the full HR package, and career management capability. The Core package costs $199 per month plus $8 per employee.

The Complete package adds analytics, compensation planning, and talent management to the features in the Core package. The complete package costs $199 per month and $14 per employee.

Final thoughts...

Paycor has an interesting product that divides people; speak to an accountant, and they’ll tell you it’s essentially an HR platform; speak to an HR practitioner, and you’ll be told it favors payroll. To us, that means that Paycor has got it about right. It provides just enough of each discipline to meet the needs of small to medium-sized businesses without making them pay for superfluous features.

We feel you may find more suitable products if you have sophisticated or complex requirements or thousands of employees. However, Paycor is a solid product. If you’re in the eight to fifty employee niche that we believe suits Paycor, you’ll find a good range of products in a simple-to-use interface at a reasonable price compared to competitors.