Growing a small business comes with many new requirements and growing pains, including payroll. Beyond simply issuing checks and deposits, payroll can include a range of other tasks like tax filing, time tracking, and healthcare benefit administration. Paychex seeks to streamline these processes, providing an easy-to-use tool and access to expert guidance for medium and growing companies.

What is Paychex?

Paychex is a cloud-based payroll company that has become one of the biggest names in payroll software. Fast-growing businesses are often the biggest Paychex fans, though the company offers four tiers of membership and a range of add-on services to tailor the offerings to each company. With more than 680,000 organizations across the United States and Europe, it is safe to say Paychex is the go-to for many companies.

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Who is Paychex best for?

Paychex is a software solution designed to help businesses with their payroll, whether that business has an in-house accounting staff or not. The company targets medium-sized and growing businesses in the range of 50 to 1,000+ employees. Pricing matches this range, and is likely out of reach for small businesses on a tight budget, sole proprietors, or freelancers. Likewise, very large companies may require a more sophisticated solution.

Business owners who choose Paychex often need reliable customer support or even dedicated specialists, basic payroll functionality, employee self-service options, and intuitive applications.


  • Intuitive and simple payroll processing
  • Includes services like garnishing payment
  • Plans can be customized with add-on services
  • Useful and intuitive reporting
  • Many HR services and integrations available as add-ons


  • Most functionalities beyond basic payroll come with a fee, including tax form filing
  • Time tracking requires a separate platform
  • More costly than many competitors
  • Pricing beyond the Essential plan is not transparent
  • Implementation can be a long process

Paychex features


The variety of plans available for Paychex means that businesses can easily implement the tool and run payroll at any size, and then move to more advanced plans as their business grows. The Essential plan covers all the basics, and users can move between tiers based on their own needs and size. Not all payroll services allow for this kind of growth, so doing the legwork one time is a huge benefit.

Full-service payroll

With Paychex in place, all of the basic payroll tasks a business may need to complete are available in an easy platform. The tool helps run payroll and pays employees by direct deposit to their bank account or check. Taxes can also be managed by Paychex, taking one of the most confusing aspects of compliance off of small business owners’ plates.

Along with all of the administrative tasks, Paychex also includes a self-service employee portal where they can check on their own pay stubs and tax forms. Documents like W-2s and 1099s can be automatically created and released as well.

Access to dedicated experts

Not all businesses have accounting or bookkeeping staff on their team, especially startups and smaller operations. While Paychex makes most of these tasks easy, they also have the option to add payroll and HR specialists as a part of their services. Paychex Flex Select and Pro provide dedicated payroll specialists from the start of a subscription to ensure there is support.


At the Paychex Flex levels, there is the option to integrate the software with third-party tools like Quickbooks or Xero for accounting, as well as time and attendance programs. This allows companies to cut down on the duplication of efforts and ensure payroll data is accurate across the company. Higher tiers also allow integration with point-of-sale software and additional HR tools.

Paychex pricing

Paychex customers can choose from four packages, depending on which features are most important to them.

  • Paychex Essentials: This introductory package costs $39 per month as a base price, along with $5 per month per employee on the system. The Essentials include the ability to pay employees, calculate and remit payroll taxes, dashboards and the mobile app, time tracking, integration, employee wellness programs, and standard reports.

For higher tiers, pricing is customized through the help of a Paychex sales representative. The tiers are as follows:

  • Paychex Flex Select: Includes access to a dedicated payroll specialist, employee training platforms, additional payment options, and more reporting capabilities.
  • Paychex Flex Pro: Includes integration for accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero, custom reports, HR services like onboarding documents, and assistance with unemployment insurance.
  • Paychex Flex Enterprise: For enterprise-level businesses, this package adds recruiting services, performance management, and employee benefits.

In addition to each package, customers can choose from a variety of add-on services such as:

  • Paychex Flex Time to track employee time, which integrates with Flex plans.
  • HR services, including a dedicated HR professional.
  • Benefits management for health insurance benefits, retirement services, and self-service employee tools.
  • Payroll protection extends the collection of payroll funds for up to seven days without interrupting services.

For packages beyond Paychex Essential, a sales representative can help calculate cost based on the number of employees, online payroll schedule, and other factors.

Paychex customer support

All tiers of Paychex membership have access to their customer support team, which boasts U.S.-based representatives via phone, email, and live chat on a 24/7/365 basis. This is available for basic inquiries at the employee and administrator levels.

Higher levels of access are available with Flex Select, Flex Pro, and Flex Enterprise plans, including dedicated HR and payroll professionals when needed. These teams are on call for administrators who need help with payroll processing, benefits administration, or any other tasks related to the Paychex tool.

Along with live support, the Paychex website provides a Knowledge Center and many resources to help with both the software itself and general HR administration.


Is Paychex Flex legitimate?

Yes, Paychex Flex is a legitimate offering from Paychex. Companies that use Paychex can choose their tier of services, and anything beyond the entry-level package is called Paychex Flex. These plans include additional offerings like dedicated specialists and custom reporting through Paychex, a very popular service provider.

Does Paychex have hidden fees?

Outside of the Essential plan, you need to contact a Paychex sales representative to gain accurate pricing. Many features have an add-on cost, though this will be shared with you during contracting and the process. There are also some admin fees that may not be disclosed upfront.

What does Paychex do?

Paychex is a software-based HR solution designed to help ease the burden of payroll, including paying employees and managing tax deductions. The tool also has additional HR functionality, like benefit management, and tools to aid the hiring process, like new hire onboarding assistance. Customers can choose from various capabilities to build a flexible package with Paychex.

Can I cancel Paychex?

You can cancel your Paychex subscription, but the terms of your contract may dictate that a termination fee is paid if you cancel outside of a renewal term.

What are the advantages of Paychex?

Paychex is a comprehensive payroll tool with the ability to add many features and scale to meet the growing needs of your business. Intuitive tools for employees and administrative team members and the ability to integrate with third-party software make it popular. Many customers love the 24/7 support and the option for a dedicated specialist to assist your team.