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The Best Payroll Service

Last Updated September 10, 2020
Reading Times:
Summary only: 1 minute
Full guide: 2 minutes

This is our response to an email from a reader.

With their permission, we have released their anonymized original email, as well as our response. We're doing this because we believe the information and insights contained in our responses can be more broadly helpful, especially as we're still working on the full-length guide. However, do note that this recommendation will be rougher and less in-depth than our full-length guides, and that some of our guidance might change as we complete our research on a topic.

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Question from a reader

Saw that you're working on a guide to payroll providers, and wondering if you had any information on frequent delays in payroll processing with Rippling. The startup I work for uses Rippling and we get paid bi-monthly but our paychecks regularly take over a week (I'd say about 11 days on average) to hit our bank accounts. I find it hard to imagine that this is a widespread issue, but despite my boss reaching out to them repeatedly, the situation never seems to improve. Was wondering if you'd heard of other companies having similar issues with Rippling?

Our reply

So we're still in the testing process but we're pretty confident that if you're just looking for payroll, then Gusto > Rippling. Key points:

  • Rippling tries to be the 20/80 payroll provider, because their main goal is to be the entire "employee identity platform," and payroll is just one small part of that.

    • casual observation: they seem to be a lot more interested in pushing their IT offerings and seem to view payroll as a necessary evil, vs. something to focus on
  • Gusto, on the other hand, is the 100% payroll provider

    • They're really focused on ironing out the kinks of the payroll process and payroll only
  • Gusto is standardized on 2-day payroll and they've started to offer a next-day payroll option as well

If you're a large company, onboarding tons of people at once, etc. then Rippling might be a decent option (on the basis of employee management, not payroll). But if you're not being bottlenecked by the actual task of onboarding new employees, then we're rather confident that Gusto is a better payroll service.

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