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UltiPro Payroll is a cloud-based payroll service offered by the parent company Ultimate Software. This customizable service automates the payroll of some of the nation’s largest brands, making it a great solution for larger-scale payroll needs.
Because it's one of the most widely recognized payroll solutions available, many business owners choose UltiPro based on its sheer clout. But it’s worth digging into the details and exploring alternatives before deciding if UltiPro Payroll is the best solution for your business.
Beyond making sure your employees get paid on time and in full — and taking all of the grunt work out of that process for you — what can UltiPro Payroll do for your business?
By definition, all of your payroll services options will allow you to pay your employees. You’ll be able to differentiate stellar payroll services from those that aren’t so stellar based on the additional features offered beyond just processing payroll.
So, what features elevate UltiPro above the rest of your options?
Here are some of the most notable add-on features that you can access through UltiPro, depending on which version of the software you opt for:
Direct deposit payments
As is standard for most payroll solutions these days, UltiPro Payroll offers direct deposit payments. This means that UltiPro will virtually deliver your employees’ paychecks directly into their bank accounts.
Though direct deposit payments have become almost a given in today’s payroll service options, it’s smart to continue to check that any payroll option you’re considering offers this time- and paper-saving feature.
Employee login access
With UltiPro Payroll, you’ll be able to provide employee login access to your team. With their UltiPro login, employees can check out all of the logistics that their payroll holds. This would give your team more access to information on their payroll, benefits and time off without your having to field all of their questions.
Additionally, the UltiPro Payroll app allows you and your employees to access UltiPro services through mobile devices. So, if you’re away from your computer but need to quickly manage payroll logistics, the UltiPro app will allow you to do so.
That said, customer ratings of the UltiPro Payroll app aren’t always glowing. While the UltiPro Payroll app has 4.6 out of 5 stars on the Apple App Store, negative reviews call out limited functionality, bugginess and other frustrations. So, although the UltiPro Payroll app exists, it might not be the most user-friendly or helpful resource. If you’re hoping to perform sophisticated reports or access detailed insights through your payroll service while you’re on the go, then UltiPro’s app might not be the best fit for you.
Payroll reporting capabilities
Through this UltiPro Payroll feature, account admins are able to run intricate reports on their company’s payroll. These reports will include built-in analyses of taxes, employee compensation and more. Plus, you’ll be able to build custom payroll reports in more advanced versions of UltiPro.
Full-service tax management
The tax management capabilities that you’ll be able to access through UltiPro Payroll will calculate the taxes — including federal, state and local taxes — that each of your employees’ paychecks will have deducted from them. UltiPro will also alert account admins when a change in tax codes takes place, and the changes will apply to paychecks immediately.
Time and attendance tracking
UltiPro will allow you to choose from multiple time and attendance tracking systems, depending on your preferences. You can opt to use a manual time clock or an electric timesheet to track your employees’ hours, but you can also access an integrated time-tracking system for your payroll system, though this will likely add to the total cost of UltiPro Payroll for your business.
Employee benefits management
Depending on which version of UltiPro you end up choosing, you might be able to access integrated employees benefits management. This will allow you to keep track of all of the non-compensation benefits you offer your employees — think retirement benefits, paid time off and health insurance. If your version of UltiPro doesn’t feature this tracking as a built-in capability, then you might be able to access it as an optional module, as well.
Those features are all well and good, but there’s no real way to know if UltiPro Payroll is a frontrunner for your business without knowing just how much it will cost.
Unfortunately, UltiPro Payroll isn’t exactly transparent about its pricing. While some of UltiPro’s competitors will delineate its pricing to a tee online, you won’t be able to find UltiPro’s anywhere online.
And that’s because its payroll services are priced using a quote-based system. If you describe your business and what you need from UltiPro Payroll customer service, a representative will provide you with a general idea of how much UltiPro would cost your business.
This means that you won’t have a way to gauge whether or not you’re getting a good deal on your UltiPro Payroll, relative to what other businesses are paying. Plus, if you look to UltiPro Payroll reviews from customers, many cite the higher cost of the software as one of the main downfalls of the product. So, though there’s no telling how much UltiPro Payroll will cost your business, it’s easy to assume that it won’t be cheap.
What kind of businesses does UltiPro Payroll work well for?
To help decide whether or not UltiPro Payroll is the right option for your business’s payroll needs, you might want to know what kinds of businesses UltiPro typically works with. Well, because UltiPro typically provides payroll services to giant brands, you might recognize a few of its customers.
Huge businesses — like Subway, Texas Roadhouse and Major League Baseball — with thousands of employees use UltiPro Payroll services. So, if you’re looking for a smaller-scale, more straightforward payroll service, then you might want to look to one of UltiPro’s more small-business-centric counterparts.
Pros and cons of UltiPro Payroll
Now that you have a good understanding of what UltiPro Payroll offers and which businesses it can best serve, let’s pinpoint the advantages and disadvantages of this payroll provider.
Comprehensive solution: To be sure, UltiPro Payroll can handle all of your payroll needs and offers a wide array of features. Its full-service tax management is especially appealing for business owners who don’t want to run the risk of calculating taxes on their own and potentially making costly mistakes. It’s safe to say that whatever feature you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it with UltiPro.
Target demo: UltiPro serves some big-name companies and is, in fact, best-suited for enterprise-level businesses. Thus, small businesses will likely not find UltiPro to be their best solution. There are several payroll providers that specifically cater to small businesses and whose features, customer service and cost are more in line with the needs of small-business owners (a few of which are detailed below).
Cost: Another significant drawback to UltiPro Payroll is the price. It doesn't offer transparent pricing, so you won’t know whether the price you’re quoted is comparable to what other businesses receive. Plus, considering the size of the companies UltiPro typically serves, you can expect them to be an expensive option.
Mobile app: It’s also worth mentioning UltiPro’s mobile app here, as more and more business owners want the freedom to manage their businesses from anywhere. UltiPro app reviews are concerning, with many users reporting not being able to use the app for any of its intended purposes. If mobile options and user-friendly interfaces are important to you, you’ll likely want to choose another payroll provider.
Now you're familiar with all the positive aspects of UltiPro that are advertised on their website — but what are the less-than-ideal parts of using this software to automate your business’s payroll? To be sure, you won’t find the answer to this question on Ultimate Software’s website. That said, you can rely on UltiPro reviews from customers to see the less-than-perfect side of this payroll option.
One of the most agreed-upon downsides you’ll see in UltiPro Payroll reviews is that this isn’t necessarily the most intuitive software on the market. Many customers say that there’s a pretty steep learning curve for both admins and employees when navigating UltiPro Payroll. More specifically, many customers seem to have lots of trouble transitioning from their old payroll services onto UltiPro. All in, UltiPro reviews feature a lot of customers hoping to access training for using the software but also wishing that training wasn’t necessary.
Alternatives to UltiPro Payroll
With all of this information in mind, you may be wondering what other payroll solutions may better fit your business’s needs. Even if you think UltiPro might be the best solution, it’s always best to compare several options — and their cost — so you have a good idea of how much bang you’re getting for your buck. Here are a few UltiPro alternatives to consider.
One of the main drawbacks of UltiPro is it isn’t especially small-business friendly; it’s more of an enterprise-level system. For smaller businesses looking for a solution geared toward them and with upfront pricing, Gusto is one of your best options.
Gusto offers three different plans offering varying levels of payroll and HR management functionality, so you can choose the best one for your business. Even better, all of their prices are listed right on their website. Their standard Core plan costs $39 per month plus $6 per employee per month.
No matter which plan you choose, you’ll receive a full-service payroll solution, workers' compensation and health benefits administration, employee self-service, PTO tracking and customer support. As you level up to a higher plan, you’ll receive additional capabilities like onboarding tools, dedicated customer support and an HR resource center.
On the other hand, if you want a payroll solution that can truly grow with your business, you may consider ADP Payroll. ADP offers several plan options, geared toward businesses of all sizes, so you can find the one that best fits your business now, while also knowing you can always upgrade down the line as your business expands.
Besides payroll, you can also satisfy all of your HR management needs with ADP. Besides a payroll provider, ADP is also a PEO (professional employer organization), meaning it provides corporate-caliber benefits, expert guidance, intuitive tech and integrated HR services, in addition to full-service payroll processing.
ADP is quote-based, though, so you will need to reach out to their team to find out how much their services will cost your business.
Another option to consider is Square Payroll. If you have both employees and contractors, then Square Payroll will cost you a base fee of $35 per month, plus $5 per employee or contractor per month. Alternatively, if you only have contractors on your payroll, then you will only pay $5 per contractor per month, with no base fee at all. Plus, unlike UltiPro Payroll reviews, most all Square Payroll reviews cite the program’s intuitive interface as one of its biggest draws.
So, if you’re looking for a payroll solution that is more affordable, more transparent and easier to use than UltiPro Payroll, then we suggest you look into Square Payroll.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet