What is Paycor?

Paycor is a company that supplies cloud-based human resources and payroll support to small and medium-sized businesses. The payroll component of Paycor’s service offering handles federal and state tax filing, garnishments, and paid time off requests and tracking. Payments are made through direct deposits and pay cards, with on-demand pay and everyday pay a standard feature. There is also an option of general ledger and 360/401(k) EDI integration. Subscription to the Paycor services is through selecting one of four plan tiers, all of which incorporate varying levels of HR and payroll functionality.

Paycor is a US publicly-listed company founded in 1990 and headquartered in Norwood, Cincinnati. Founder Bob Coughlin had worked as a payroll software salesman and chose to form a company that had customer service as its guiding principle. The company’s growth has been strong even through tight economic times, and now partners with over 40,000 small and mid-sized companies globally. Their cloud-based HR software focuses on the education, healthcare, manufacturing, nonprofits, restaurants, and retail industries. They also customize solutions for CFOs and other HR professionals.

It’s important to understand that the Paycor product has quietly morphed into an HR solution that also offers payroll rather than being solely payroll-focused. The payroll portion of the service offering offers all the basic payroll features you’d expect. However, some of the features you’d expect as standard are only available in the higher-tier plans. These include paid time off tracking, time-off requests, workers’ compensation reporting, and payroll analytics. The HR component includes new hire reporting, new hire self-service onboarding, and HR compliance, while higher subscription tiers provide an HR support center, labor law subscriptions, and HR checklists, templates, and training.

All subscription plans include a mobile app to allow employees to view their pay information and tax status and employers to manage the payroll from their phones. One interesting feature standard to all plans is on-demand pay, allowing workers to choose when they wish to get paid for work they’ve done. It’s worth noting that while garnishments are a standard option, the lower tier only supports electronic payments, whereas the higher tiers include Paycor assistance.

What popular features do you get with Paycor?

  • New hire self-service onboarding
  • Auto-run payroll
  • New hire reporting
  • Federal and state tax filing

  • General ledger reports and integrations
  • On-demand pay
  • Paycor mobile app
  • Unlimited payroll 

  • Paid time off tracking
  • Employee self-service portal

Customer Support is available at Paycor

Paycor provides some basic customer self-help pages on its website. Those clients needing in-depth help can log in to the Paycor support center to access a more extensive knowledge base. Once logged in, customers can engage with Paycor customer support personnel via a live chat facility. There is also a phone number to ring, which operates Monday to Friday between 8 am and 8 pm EST for payroll inquiries and 8 am to 6 pm EST for all other queries.


What kind of business is Paycor ideal for?

If we consider only how the subscription price is structured, Paycor’s products and services are best suited for established businesses with ten or more employees. Anything below ten workers and the amortized monthly per-head cost becomes higher than other competing products. Taking the products and services into account, Paycor is suitable for a company looking for HR support coupled with basic payroll services. The Paycor payroll offers everything a business needs to operate without loading it up with unwanted or unused features.

Pros and Cons

  • Great user interface and interactive dashboards
  • Tax compliance across multiple US jurisdictions
  • Links to some of the largest US 401(k) providers
  • Employee and manager self-service portal
  • Automated workflow processes
  • Compliance support
  • Great mobile app
  • Automated payroll
  • HR Tools and reference library
  • 140+ app integrations
  • 1-month free payroll on signup

  • No integrations for QuickBooks and Xero
  • Premium pricing
  • No native time-tracking tool; requires third-party integration
  • Additional costs for some services

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How much does Paycor cost?

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

The Paycor Basic plan includes the minimum features your business needs to operate a payroll service. It includes unlimited payroll runs, federal and state tax filing, check stuffing, support for garnishments, and an auto-run payroll. Included are the mobile app and the employee self-service portal. On-demand pay, HR compliance, and online reporting tools are also part of the core offering.

Upgrade to the Essentials plan, and you gain the core offering with the addition of paid time off tracking and reporting, and worker’s compensation reporting. The HR offering also improves with access to the HR support center, labor law subscriptions, and a range of HR checklists, templates, and training. Reporting and analytic reports become available at this tier.

Upgrade again to the Complete tier, and you gain the Essentials package with addition of payroll general ledger reporting and integrations, and 360/401 (k) EDI integration. Your HR offering increases to provide guidance from a certified HR professional.

The highest tier of HCM adds no further functionality to your payroll; you gain further HR support, including forms and document sharing with e-signature, automated workflows, scheduled reminders, and employee recognition and HR analytics.

Plan Basic Essential Complete HCM
Setup Fee None $59 $99 $199
Monthly Subscription $99 $149 $199 $199
Per worker per month $5 $6 $7 $12

Final thoughts...

Paycor has moved from being a payroll company to what they call a human capital management company. A large portion of your subscription buys human resource features and support, with a basic payroll offering included. If you only require a basic payroll, other products on the market may suit you better, offering more features for a cheaper per-head cost. Yet, if you need both human resource support and payroll in a unified package, Paycor might be just what you’re looking for. We suggest it’s unlikely Paycor will appeal to a small company with less than ten workers, solopreneurs, or startups. However, Paycor offers a solid product and scalability for an established organization with double-digit employees wishing to grow its business. Over 40,000 businesses can’t be wrong!