Review of Paylocity

February, 2015

Rating: 3.5/5

This product began life in 1997 as Ameripay Payroll, however its name was changed to Paylocity in 2005. As its former name indicates, it started life as a payroll program (and this is still the most advanced module in the package) designed to be used by American companies (and it is still designed to be exclusively used by companies operating in the USA).

Paylocity sees itself as a cross between a customized in-house solution (without the expense and need for in-house expertise), and an outsourcing payroll company (without the one-size-fits-all limitations). The way they manage this is by ensuring that a relatively high percentage of their workforce is made up of specialist IT professionals, to make it easier to customize the standard product for their clients’ needs.

Paylocity is now a cloud-based SaaS product. This means that users have instant access to their data, no matter where they are, as long as there is an internet connection. Like all such products, there is no on-site licensed software to be installed and maintained. It does mean that you have to trust Paylocity with your data, hence they put an emphasis on the security and privacy of that data.

Over time they have expanded their offerings, to ensure that they can offer a full array of HR related services. They have done this through a combination of acquisition and internal development. As a result of this, some of the modules definitely feel more developed than others. In some areas they have a number of alternatives available, the product’s suitability depending on the size of the customer’s business.

The flagship product is still the Payroll module, now known as Web Pay. This includes most features that would be expected of a payroll system, for instance paycheck calculators, comprehensive labor distribution, quick data entry and integration with most General Ledger and Accounts software packages.

It is extremely user-friendly, with a particular strength being its reporting and dashboard features, combined with a seamless payroll preview process. Web Pay is now a mature product and any issues have generally being sorted out.

The other modules are less consistent, with most of them not being as far through the development cycle.

The core human resource functions are in the Advanced HR module. This includes tasks such as applicant tracking, employment history, a benefits module (probably the least developed of the core sections), leave tracking, safety tracking, recording of time-off requests, and a number of other functions. Where these affect payroll (for instance benefits and employees’ leave), there is full integration with Web Pay.

There are also specialist modules focusing on on-boarding (which is particularly user-friendly to new staff members), performance management (which includes 360 reviews and goals management), time and expense tracking.

One of the areas which I think still needs further development is the self service user interface. Users of the system have access to their personal employment data, and can even update it where necessary, but the user interface is still somewhat clunky, and in need of further work to match some of the competition UIs .

Another area that needs more investment in user-friendliness is the time tracking clock-in and out system, which does not possess as many automation options as many of the competing products.

Of course, one of Paylocity’s selling points is its ability for customization. If enough customers demand customization of the few weak areas, this may well flow through to the main product. In the mean time it is not uncommon for firms to use Web Pay with their existing HR programs.

The Sales Pitch

Paylocity’s cloud-based solution is flexible and scalable, allowing you to keep what works while providing the tools you need when your business needs them


Payroll, HR Management, Time and Attendance, Benefits Tracking, Applicant Tracking


Ace Hardware, ING U.S. Retirement Services, Principal Financial Group.

Tech Information
Service Name
Parent Company
No. of Staff maintaining this service (estimated)
Medium (100-499 people)
99.99% Uptime
Telephone, Online, Email
Head Office
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See also: HR Management , Payroll , Time and Attendance