February 15, 2023

Top 5 Rippling Competitors & Alternatives for 2023

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Tags: HR

Key takeaways

  • Rippling is known for its online payroll service as well as its workforce management software.
  • Gusto, OnPay, and ADP are some well-known alternatives to Rippling’s payroll service.
  • BambooHR is a great Rippling competitor to consider if you need HR software plus payroll, while Workday offers both HCM and finance management software.

Rippling is one of the best-rated payroll software options on the market today. It also offers sophisticated tools for human resources (HR), finance, and IT teams looking to centralize their work on a single cloud-based platform.

However, Rippling may not fit every business’s needs. Its extensive payroll features may overwhelm small businesses, while its HR and finance functions may not meet the complex needs of enterprise companies. If you’re a Rippling customer looking at alternatives, we have compiled a list of the best Rippling competitors for you to consider.

If none of the options seem like a good fit, explore our Payroll Software and HR Software Guides to find the right solution.

What are the top Rippling alternatives?

There are several payroll and HR software vendors that address some of Rippling’s limitations:

Gusto is the best overall payroll software when it comes to features and prices.

ADP Workforce Now is the best payroll software for large businesses.

OnPay is the best online payroll service for small businesses.

BambooHR is the best all-around HR software that offers a payroll add-on.

Workday is the best software platform for global enterprise businesses.

Gusto: Best overall payroll software

If you’re mostly looking at Rippling for its payroll and HR features, then you should definitely take a look at Gusto as well. Gusto offers top-notch payroll functionality; though, its HR features are not quite as comprehensive as what Rippling or other competitors offer. However, Gusto is more affordable, so it’s a good tradeoff that is worth it for most companies.

Gusto offers straightforward transparent pricing plans, plus a contractor-only plan where the base monthly fee is waived for the first six months. You can also upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time (this contrasts with Rippling, which typically locks companies into a 12-month contract). In other words, Gusto is a great option for businesses whose workforce size may change rapidly and influence their payroll needs.

Source: Gusto

Payroll functionality

Gusto’s payroll is easy and intuitive to run, even if you’ve never used payroll software before. Even the base plan offers advanced features like unlimited payroll runs and garnishment payments that competitors typically charge extra for. Gusto also offers the option to enable totally automatic payroll, which Rippling doesn’t offer at this point.

HR products

Gusto also offers tools to support basic HR functions like time and attendance, hiring and onboarding, talent management, and employee benefit administration; although, the latter isn’t available in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

These tools are less comprehensive than Rippling’s, but they will satisfy the needs of many small and midsize businesses (SMBs), especially given Gusto’s lower price point.

Reasons to choose Gusto over Rippling

  • Top-notch payroll functionality.
  • Basic HR tool selection.
  • Contractor-only payroll plan.
  • Lifetime employee portal access.

OnPay: Best payroll software for small businesses

If both Rippling and Gusto feel overkill for your payroll needs, then consider OnPay instead, which is our top payroll software pick for small businesses. If you are looking for payroll software with a simple pricing structure—so simple that it only offers one payment plan—then OnPay should be one of your top contenders.

OnPay is a good fit for businesses looking for an online payroll service that don’t want or need a lot of extra features or integrations. OnPay only offers about a dozen native integrations and pretty limited HR capabilities, but the payroll function is simple, flexible, and quick to use.

Source: OnPay

Full-service payroll

OnPay offers all major payroll features, including unlimited monthly payroll runs, automatic tax calculations and filing, and multiple pay rates and schedules. It also allows your company to manage medical and dental benefits in all 50 states.

Note that OnPay does not include a native time tracking function, so you’ll need to set up that integration or input time and attendance information manually. This contrasts with Rippling, which does have a native time tracking function.

Free set-up and migration

If your company has been around for a while, then your first order of business will be to input historical payment data into the new payroll software. OnPay makes this easy with its free setup and migration assistance.

If you have previously paid employees, an OnPay rep will take care of entering employees’ information and their prior wages into the system or migrating it over from your previous payroll service. This is a big bonus for small businesses and sets OnPay apart from Rippling.

Reasons to choose OnPay over Rippling

  • Unlimited monthly payroll runs.
  • Automatic tax calculations and filing.
  • Free setup and migration.

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ADP Workforce Now: Best payroll software for large businesses

ADP is one of the most popular payroll software companies in the world and offers a variety of payroll plans to suit most needs. ADP’s Workforce Now plans are meant for larger businesses with 50 employees and up, while the Run plans are designed for businesses with 49 employees or less.

In addition to its payroll functionality, ADP also offers a lot of HR and workforce management tools. These tools may be overkill for small businesses, but they can really benefit larger businesses that are growing fast. If you are a medium or large business looking for software that can meet your complex payroll and HR needs—and don’t mind a higher price tag compared to competitors—ADP Workforce Now is a great pick.

Source: ADP

Payroll functionality

ADP offers lots of different payroll plans to suit many different sizes of businesses as well as the option to request a custom quote. The entry-level ADP Run plan is affordable for small businesses, while higher-tier Run plans and the Workforce Now plans offer the most popular payroll features. However, the interface isn’t as modernized as Rippling’s, and some users say the interface could use an update.

Workforce management features

ADP offers quite a few HR and workforce management features, which is why it’s considered such a direct competitor to Rippling. ADP’s offerings include time tracking, automation, payroll integration, insights and analytics, and more.

However, you should know that ADP doesn’t offer finance or IT management software, which Rippling does; ADP’s features fall solidly within the HR and workforce management categories.

Reasons to choose ADP over Rippling

  • Lots of pricing plans.
  • Comprehensive payroll features.
  • Workforce management tools.

Read more: How to Use HR Software to Improve Work-Life Integration

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BambooHR: Best all-around HR software

Sometimes your company doesn’t just need payroll software, but rather an entire suite of HR software. BambooHR is one of the top-rated HR software platforms on the market today. Because BambooHR is primarily designed as an HR platform first, payroll is an add-on rather than part of its core pricing plans.

The software’s HR capabilities are pretty comprehensive, and it’s consistently ranked as one of the best HR software solutions on the market. However, BambooHR doesn’t offer other workforce management tools outside HR, whereas Rippling does offer software for IT and finance teams as well.

Thus, BambooHR is a good choice for businesses looking to run payroll and manage all HR functions within the same app but aren’t looking for a more complete workforce management solution.

Source: BambooHR

Applicant tracking system

Applicant tracking systems (ATSs) help recruiting teams source qualified candidates and hire the right people. BambooHR includes an ATS as part of the Advantage plan, which is a huge plus since not all HR software offers this feature. Rippling also offers an ATS as part of its talent management system product, so BambooHR is a great alternative to Rippling if your company is specifically looking for an ATS.

Performance management

In addition to the payroll add-on, BambooHR also offers a performance management add-on, so your HR team can manage the entire life cycle of an employee within the same app. The software makes it easy to conduct more frequent appraisals and customize performance evaluations to individual needs.

Rippling doesn’t offer native performance management functionality, so users will need to take advantage of one of its third-party integrations for that.

Reasons to choose BambooHR over Rippling

  • Comprehensive HR software.
  • Applicant tracking system.
  • Performance management add-on.
  • Payroll add-on.

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Workday: Best for Global Enterprise Businesses

Lots of Rippling’s competitors combine HR and payroll features, but few offer finance software.

Workday is one of the few Rippling alternatives that does offer finance management software in addition to HR software, making it one of the most direct Rippling competitors. However, Workday does not offer IT management software, which Rippling does, so it’s not an exact dupe for Rippling.

Workday is designed for large enterprise businesses, especially multi-national or global businesses, which is reflected in both the breadth and depth of its software offerings as well as its price tag. If you represent a large business looking at Rippling not just for its payroll and HR functionality but also for its finance software, then Workday should be at the top of your alternatives list.

Source: Workday

Human capital management

Workday’s comprehensive human capital management (HCM) software covers basically every core function, including talent management machine learning, augmented people analytics, and compensation and benefits tools. Note that payroll, talent management, and workforce management are all add-ons to the base HCM plan at Workday. Meanwhile, Rippling gives customers the option to combine everything with its HR cloud plan.

Finance software suite

Workday’s financial management tools are designed to create value for your accounting and finance teams. The tools capture accounting data, assist with financial planning and forecasting, automate internal auditing, track financial analytics, and more. Meanwhile, Rippling’s financial management capabilities are more limited, focused on tracking expenses, managing company cards, and automating approvals and denials.

Reasons to choose Workday over Rippling

  • Enterprise-level software.
  • Human capital management tools.
  • Finance software suite.

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What are the limitations of Rippling?

While it started out as payroll software, Rippling has rapidly expanded to become one of the most comprehensive workforce management solutions on the market. It offers cloud-based payroll, HR, finance, and IT software all under one convenient roof, and it’s beginning its global expansion into other countries.

While Rippling may not be the best-in-class solution for each of these solutions when taken individually, it’s almost impossible to find a competitor that offers this unique combination of services. It also made our list of the best global payroll software thanks to its recent international expansion.

However, this doesn’t mean that Rippling is without its drawbacks.

If you just need it for payroll and don’t plan to take advantage of its other features, it can be pricey compared to alternatives, especially since the per-user fees add up quickly. Not only that, there is no free trial and the pricing is not transparent, requiring a custom quote. In other words, Rippling may not be a cost-effective choice for smaller businesses with only a few employees.

Most of the platform is intuitive, but users say the reporting function can present a steeper learning curve. The mobile app doesn’t have all of the same features as the desktop application, which can be a hindrance if your workforce is very mobile. Its financial management features are also lacking when compared to some other alternatives.

The ideal Rippling customer is a midsize or large business that needs a sophisticated payroll platform. It’s also a great option for businesses that want a comprehensive workforce management solution that covers some HR, IT, and finance functions instead of cobbling together a software stack from multiple vendors.

However, there are more cost-effective options for doing payroll for small businesses. Other companies may also benefit from choosing dedicated HR, IT, and finance platforms that offer more comprehensive functionality, rather than trying to make everything work in Rippling.

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Choosing the right alternative to Rippling

Rippling’s payroll service is highly regarded, and it offers a unique combination of workforce management software that few competitors can match. However, it’s not the best choice for every business, and there are plenty of Rippling competitors out there that might be a better fit for your needs. Rippling has many different functionalities, so when choosing a competitor it’s important to understand what exact features your business needs.

If you’re mostly looking for an all-around payroll service with some HR tools, then Gusto is a great alternative. If you’re a small business looking to run payroll online, OnPay is one of our top picks for companies with few employees. And if you’re a large business looking for a sophisticated payroll solution, ADP Workforce now is worth a closer look.

On the other hand, if you’re mostly looking for a full suite of HR software—with the option to add payroll—then you should consider BambooHR. If you’re looking for not just HR software and payroll but also financial management software, then Workday is another worthy competitor to Rippling.

Choosing HR software is a complex decision. If none of these vendors meet your needs, check out our HR Software Guide to browse other solutions.

1 Rippling

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Rippling is the first way for businesses to manage all of their HR, IT, and Finance — payroll, benefits, computers, apps, corporate cards, expenses, and more — in one unified workforce platform. By connecting every business system to one source of truth for employee data, businesses can automate all of the manual work they normally need to do to make employee changes.

Learn more about Rippling

2 Paycor

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Paycor’s HR software modernizes every aspect of people management, which saves leaders time and gives them the powerful analytics they need to build winning teams. Paycor provides a full suite of HCM solutions with a single source of truth for employee data, so users never have to switch platforms, log-in to multiple systems, re-key data or open multiple spreadsheets. Everyday processes become simplified, allowing organizations to focus on their most important work.

Learn more about Paycor

3 Darwinbox HR Software

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Darwinbox is a unified HRMS platform that lets you manage the complete lifecycle of your employees – from hire to retire. Built for large enterprises, Darwinbox is used by 2M+ users across 700+ global companies such as Mahindra, Tata AIA, More Retail, Adani, Sembcorp, Kopi Kenangan, and more. It is a mobile-first platform that offers self-service capabilities and a great user experience to all your employees.

Learn more about Darwinbox HR Software

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