What is Rippling?

Rippling provides a workforce management platform comprising a wide range of HR and IT modules, one of which provides online full-service payroll processing. The payroll module provides federal, state, and local tax filing services and manages W2, W4, 1099, and new hire reporting. The software also manages and pays garnishments on your behalf, while workers’ compensation is available on a pay-as-you-go scheme using Rippling’s partner company, AP Intego. A stand-out feature of Rippling payroll is the ability to pay international workers, either contract or direct hire, by international transfer in the destination currency.

Rippling is a private US company founded in 2016 and headquartered in San Francisco with offices in India, China, and the US. The business is founded on a vision to eliminate the administrative work of running a company. While numerous companies offer HR and payroll services, Rippling has distinguished itself through the quality of its products. It has grown consistently since its inception and sits at seventh place when measured against its market competitors for size, employing almost 1,300 people.

All Ripplings service offerings start with their Unity workforce platform, a core module housing your workforce directory and company policies. From there, you can choose which additional modules you require, with payroll one of four options available within the HR group. Rippling advertises the payroll function as intuitive and easy to use, taking 90 seconds to run a payroll. Clients report that setup is easy, and the software is very customizable. You can integrate your payroll with most mainstream accounting packages, and Rippling offers a comprehensive list of integrations with third-party apps. Another stand-out feature is the range of reports and pre-built workflow templates provided as standard.

Rippling provides companion apps for iOS and Android, allowing employers and employees to access the system. However, an employer would find using the mobile app to run the payroll or carry out any major administrative task frustrating and time-consuming. The need to constantly scroll, zoom and double click makes the desktop software the only viable system management method. Access security is strong, with multi-factor authentication supported for log-in, requiring information beyond your username and password.


What popular features do you get with Rippling?

  • Workflow automation
  • Unlimited payroll and off-cycle runs
  • Supports international payments
  • Great third-party integration options

  • ‘Compare to last payroll’ feature
  • Advanced customizable reporting
  • Easy setup
  • Extensive employee benefit options

  • Automated tax filing
  • Great user interface

Customer Support is available at Rippling

Rippling provides customer support through email, chat, or an in-app chatbot that guides you to self-help articles. We understand most email inquiries are resolved in under 48 hours, with clients generally pleased with the service received. Unfortunately, Rippling does not offer phone support unless you’ve purchased their HR helpdesk add-on module.


What kind of business is Rippling ideal for?

Rippling advertises its services as suitable for businesses with workforces ranging from 2 to 2,000. Technically, this is correct; however, the price and robust features of the platform would appear to be overkill for a small startup company of just a couple of people. We believe Rippling payroll best suits small to medium-sized companies with at least five to ten workers. It is certainly capable of handling companies much larger than this. A great feature is a support for global payments in destination currencies to both employed and contracted workers, so if you have a dispersed workforce, Rippling payroll might be just what you need.

Pros and Cons

  • Intuitive and user-friendly
  • A huge number of integrations with third-party apps
  • Integrates with most mid-level accounting packages
  • One-click payroll runs
  • Support for global payrolls
  • Extensive benefit administration
  • Multi-factor authentication security
  • Easy and comprehensively guided setup
  • Extremely customizable
  • Great reporting and automated workflow templates

  • Mobile apps are limited
  • Pricing is not transparent, offering a quote-only pricing structure
  • Access to phone support attracts a charge

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How much does Rippling cost?

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

Rippling does not publish a pricing structure, requiring you to apply online to receive a personalized quote. Despite this, indicative pricing is available online from clients, but do be sure to contact Rippling to receive an accurate price suitable for your business size and complexity. Remember that you can’t buy the payroll function without subscribing to Rippling’s core Unity platform. As a reminder, many other HR and IT services are available through Rippling once you subscribe to the Unity platform; we have only reviewed the payroll options. The following prices will guide you on what to expect.

Feature Monthly Price
Rippling Unity (mandatory core platform) $10 ($8 if billed annually) per employee
Full service payroll $8 per employee
Employee benefits management (optional) $6 per employee
HR Help desk (optional) $100 per month flat rate

Final thoughts...

Rippling offers a comprehensive and sophisticated set of products that should more than meet the needs of small to medium-sized companies with five or more employees. While the Rippling platform is not the cheapest amongst its competitors, it will allow you to scale your business rapidly, even supporting your global expansion aspirations. The ability to pay overseas direct hire and contract workers in their home country currency is a stand-out feature of the Rippling payroll.

One much-talked-about feature is Rippling’s comprehensive and highly customizable reporting, which appears unmatched by many of its competitors. While such customization will be unnecessary and difficult to understand for a small business, larger organizations will benefit considerably from the capability. Another excellent feature is Ripplings library of customizable automation templates, allowing you to automate almost every aspect of your payroll, except pressing the final button to release the run.

If you’re a solopreneur or a small two or three-person business, the Rippling product suite will be overly complex and costly for your immediate needs. However, if you’re a slightly larger business looking to automate payroll, meet your regulatory filings, and have the option of accessing a suite of other HR and IT workforce management tools, Rippling offers an outstanding product. We suggest it’s worth contacting Ripplings for your personalized quote to allow you to benchmark costs and benefits against the competition.