October 12, 2023

UKG Competitors: Top 5 Alternatives for 2024

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Here are some of the best UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) alternatives that might be a better fit for your needs:

  • ADP is the best for businesses that primarily need a payroll platform.
  • Workday is the best for companies that need financial and operations management software in addition to payroll and HR.
  • Zoho is the best for businesses that want to streamline their software stack across departments.
  • BambooHR is the best for smaller businesses.
  • Ceridian Dayforce is the best for companies that need a robust reporting template library.

Oct. 12, 2023: Kara Sherrer updated our recommendations to make sure they remain the best UKG alternatives on the market and provided additional analysis to explain our methodology. She also revised the copy and page structure for accuracy, consistency, and readability.

First, we evaluated 14 HR and workforce management solutions based on current options and user reviews from customers like you. We then narrowed our selections to platforms that fill the gaps where UKG falls short, such as international payroll, ERP capabilities, and reporting. We also considered other pain points some UKG customers face, such as integration limitations and technical complexity.

We considered the following products during our research:

As the market changes, we’ll regularly review our recommendations and make updates to ensure you receive our best insight.

Top UKG competitors

ADP: Best for payroll

The ADP logo.

ADP is a leader in global payroll processing software, and the platform also includes additional human capital management (HCM) and workforce management features like time and attendance, recruiting, and employee performance management.

Similar to UKG Pro, it offers two tiers of pricing plans: RUN Powered by ADP is better for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, while ADP Workforce Now can handle larger teams with more complex needs.

Native payroll

UKG outsources international payroll to third parties for all countries except the United States and Canada. In contrast, ADP keeps everything in-house with its native payroll platform, which is available in more than 140 countries. The payroll system automates tax calculations and offers multiple payment methods so employees can get their wages faster.

ADP displays a list of tax and pay statements in a desktop browser and mobile app.
Source: ADP
Employee engagement

One of ADP’s unique HCM features is its Voice of the Employee engagement tool, which is available on all Workforce Now plans. This tool helps HR generate surveys, gather employee responses, and conduct sentiment analysis to see how engaged people are at work.

RUN Powered by ADP offers four pricing plans for small businesses under 50 people, and ADP Workforce now offers three pricing plans for businesses over 50 people. However, you’ll have to contact ADP directly to get a cost estimate that reflects your business’s particular needs.

ADP is a global leader in payroll software, with native support for more than 140 countries. Though UKG and ADP check many of the same boxes for payroll, like multiple payment methods and automated tax support, ADP offers more flexibility with its PEO and EOR services.

Keep reading: UKG vs. ADP

Workday: Best for financial and operations management

The Workday logo.

Workday HCM offers a comprehensive suite of human resources, workforce management, payroll, and talent management tools. Its modular system also enables financial and operations management, which UKG doesn’t support.

Financial management

Workday goes beyond a typical HCM platform thanks to its financial management solution. Available modules cover financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, and spend management. This data can then flow over to compensation management, payroll, or other helpful modules, keeping your data centralized in one system.

Workday displays a financial report for executives.
Source: Workday
Operations management

Workday also offers tools for operations management as well as financial management. Operations modules cover sales planning, demand and supply planning, project planning, and marketing planning. Additional industry-specific tools include professional services automation and supply chain management for healthcare.

Workday human capital management does not disclose pricing on its website. You must contact the sales team for a custom quote.

Workday stands out among UKG alternatives thanks to its financial management and operations management features. Workday also offers more than 600 native HRIS integrations, which makes it highly likely that you will be able to connect most apps you use across your business.

Keep reading: UKG vs. Workday

Zoho: Best business software stack

The Zoho logo.

Zoho is a complete business software stack that includes most human capital management functions as well as tools for other departments like sales and legal.

Zoho is a good choice for businesses that need a lot of functionality and want the different tools to seamlessly integrate with one another. It also offers more transparent, flexible, and scalable pricing plans compared to UKG.

Comprehensive software stack

Zoho includes not just HCM features but also tools for legal, sales, marketing, customer support, and more. It also has a payroll tool add-on that is currently available in 13 states in the United States only.

Zoho displays a gallery of modules including attendance, performance, and training.
Source: Zoho
Forever free plans

Many of Zoho’s products have a forever free tier of service, making this a great choice for businesses on a budget. If you need to upgrade, the various pricing plans are also transparent and affordable. You can either combine products a la carte or opt for the Zoho One bundled subscription.

The Zoho One plan bundles more than 40 products together in a single subscription that starts at $37 per employee per month. See individual products like Zoho Payroll and Zoho People for pricing if you want to select them a la carte.

Zoho is a full-service software stack that goes far beyond just HCM and payroll. Its free trials, forever free plans, and transparent pricing tiers are beneficial for budget-conscious businesses looking for great value. It’s also easy to add and set up additional modules in Zoho as business and employee needs change; in comparison, UKG requires a custom setup for each change.

BambooHR: Best for smaller businesses

BambooHR logo.

BambooHR targets growing small and medium-sized businesses that need human resources support.

Its HR management capabilities aren’t as comprehensive as UKG’s, so it’s a good choice for businesses that want simple tools to manage their HR processes. That’s one of the reasons we included it in our list of the best HR software for small businesses

Pre-loaded templates

BambooHR includes a big library of pre-loaded templates, including job descriptions, recruiting email templates, employee offer letters, open enrollment, insights reports, and analytics dashboards. You can use the templates as-is or customize them to your needs.

Employee self-service

In BambooHR, each employee can complete onboarding, enroll in benefits, and access timesheets without HR help. This self-service approach is beneficial for a small HR team that doesn’t have a lot of extra bandwidth.

BambooHR displays settings for a new hire packet.
Source: BambooHR

BambooHR offers two pricing plan tiers: Essentials and Advantage. It also offers optional add-ons for payroll, benefits administration, performance management, and time tracking. However, it does not actually disclose pricing information on its website, so you will need to contact the sales team for a custom quote.

BambooHR offers a free trial so businesses can take it for a test drive before committing to a paid plan; with UKG, there’s a risk of committing to a product that doesn’t live up to expectations. That gamble could lead to challenges down the road that are harder for small businesses to overcome. Furthermore, BambooHR’s user-friendly interface, comprehensive mobile app, and customizable reporting make it a great tool that can adapt to small and medium-sized businesses’ needs.

Ceridian Dayforce: Best for reporting

The Ceridian Dayforce logo.

Ceridian Dayforce offers a lot of the same HR, workforce management, and talent management features as UKG, so it’s one of the closest competitors in terms of scope and target customers.

However, some of Dayforce’s unique differentiators include a reports library with more than 300 templates, a native payroll platform that is available in more than 160 countries, and a talent marketing platform for hiring in-demand workers.

Ideal Talent Marketplace

This unique offering from Dayforce helps companies find and hire on-demand workers to fill employee scheduling gaps. Companies can post open shifts straight from Dayforce and the system will identify flexible workers who match the necessary skills and scheduling parameters.

Reporting templates

Dayforce comes with more than 300 pre-built reporting templates that can be customized as needed to deliver business insights. The reporting and analytics module also allows you to compare your company KPIs to industry benchmarks to see how you are performing.

Dayforce displays a database of categorized report files.
Source: Ceridian

Ceridian does not disclose its pricing upfront, so you’ll need to contact the company directly for a custom quote.

Dayforce’s Ideal Talent Marketplace helps companies connect with flexible workers, and its talent acquisition software offers AI candidate scoring and matching. Dayforce’s native payroll platform is available in more than 160 countries — far more than UKG. It also offers more than 300 reporting and analytics templates that can be customized to show different insights.

Who is UKG best for?

UKG includes many HR functions, such as benefits administration, compensation management, recruiting, talent management, scheduling, and time and attendance. If you’re looking for a full-service HCM platform, then UKG might be a good fit for your needs.

Depending on the size of your business, one of UKG’s two packages might be right for you:

  • UKG Pro is a comprehensive human resources solution that is best tailored to medium- and large-sized businesses looking for a complete HR and payroll solution.
  • UKG Ready is geared toward smaller businesses, but its lack of pricing transparency may be off-putting to some business owners.

UKG’s limitations

UKG is not the best choice for companies that are only looking for a payroll solution or basic HR support. The platform might also not be robust enough for large corporations that need true ERP capabilities.

Other reasons to consider UKG alternatives include:

  • Lack of transparent pricing and no free trial.
  • Native payroll is only available in two countries.
  • Scaling up or down is cumbersome as it requires a custom setup.
  • Integrations are limited and not transparent.
  • No financial planning or operations management tools.
  • Limited to HR and payroll only.

Choosing the best alternative to UKG

If UKG doesn’t exactly fit your needs, there are plenty of alternatives to explore:

  • Choose ADP if you primarily need a payroll platform plus HR features.
  • Try Workday if you need financial and operations management software in addition to payroll and HR.
  • Go with Zoho if you want an entire business software stack, not just payroll or HR.
  • Pick BambooHR if you’re a smaller business needing an HR solution.
  • Select Ceridian Dayforce if you are looking for a robust reporting template library.

Kara Sherrer Avatar

About the author


Featured HR software partners

1 Deel

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Deel is the all-in-one platform built to hire, manage and grow global teams. By bringing together cutting edge HR tools, payroll solutions, compliance and more, Deel enables companies to scale globally with unmatched speed and flexibility.

With Deel, you can hire and onboard any type of employee, compliantly, in 150+ countries in minutes. You can run payroll in 100+ countries and all 50 states in a click of a button. You can offer competitive benefits, equity, manage equipment and more.

Learn more about Deel

2 GoCo

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Elevate your HR with a modern, easy-to-use HRIS designed for small businesses. GoCo is a secure, compliant hub for sending, digitally signing, and organizing your sensitive HR documents and data. Manage records, performance, time off, onboarding, benefits, and more – all in one place. With the best support in the industry, every GoCo customer is assigned a dedicated Customer Success Team that is readily available to provide guidance and ensure a smooth and reliable HRIS experience.

Learn more about GoCo

3 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

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