Zenefits Review

flag 14-day free trial
  • Trusted by 11,000+ businesses

  • Fully integrated system

  • Advanced feature-rich platform

  • Effortless payroll compliance

Pros & Cons

  • 14-day free trial
  • Extensive, powerful reporting & analytics
  • Automatic payroll tax compliance
  • Large list of integrations
  • Employee record-keeping & labor coding
  • Payroll is a paid add-on to the main Zenefits platform
  • Mobile app doesn’t support every task

Plans & Pricing

Zenefits offers several plans, all at reasonable prices for small businesses. It also manages to pack a lot of features into these plans, given the price. As for Zenefits Payroll, it’s an add-on for $6/employee per month. If you’re getting Zenefits for payroll, make sure to add that on to your plan’s cost. It has a five-employee minimum. You can get a Zenefits plan with fewer than five employees, but you’ll be charged as if you had five.

If you aren’t sure about Zenefits right away, it offers a 14-day free trial account with no credit card required — there’s no risk on your part. That said, if you have fewer than 26 W2 employees and purchase an annual subscription to any of their HR plans, you get one year of free payroll.


Essentials is Zenefits’ starting plan at $8/employee per month ($10/employee per month if paying monthly). It comes with all of Zenefits’ core HR features, such as hiring and onboarding, employee records system, company directors, organizational charts, document management, reporting, and more. You’ll also gain access to time and scheduling management tools like mobile PTO requests, schedule reporting, compliance reports, and more.


For $14/employee per month ($18/employee per month if paying monthly), you can step up to Growth, Zenefits’ most popular subscription plan. Growth customers get everything in Essentials, plus compensation management features like salary comparison data and custom salary benchmark reports. They also get performance management tools like performance reviews and one-on-one meeting management.


Essentials and Growth cover more of the hard payroll and HR stuff. Jump up to Zen for $21/employee per month ($27/employee per month if paying monthly), and you get features that help you enhance your employees’ well-being and engagement. Some features include well-being assessments, custom well-being improvement tips, employee engagement survey creation and management, and a People Hub where employees and management across the organization can post announcements.


Larger businesses interested in custom solutions that fit their needs can contact the Zenefits sales team to determine exact pricing.

Custom Pricing


Payroll, HR, and benefits all go hand-in-hand with each other. So when there’s a platform that offers all of them, it’s often an excellent choice.

Zenefits is an HR platform that offers payroll as a paid add-on at a great price. Zenefits calls itself a People Operations Platform to indicate its broad focus on all things relating to your employees. It’s been around since 2013 and was named the fastest-growing software tech company in history in 2014. In 2016, it launched its payroll add-on to provide a more comprehensive solution to its customers.

Should you consider Zenefits for your payroll and HR? It makes a compelling case for itself, but you can learn the details below.


  • "Price"
    8.5 /10
  • "Features"
    10 /10
  • "Ease of USe"
    9.5 /10
  • "Help and Support"
    9 /10

Features and Functionality

Since we explained the general features and benefits of Zenefits’ plans above, we’ll cover unique payroll-specific features Zenefits offers below.

Automated Payroll Taxes

Payroll taxes are a headache for many businesses. You have to navigate various complex tax rules for multiple employees, and failing to comply — even by accident — can result in fines and penalties.

Zenefits Payroll eliminates these worries by automatically calculating and filing your payroll taxes for you. It handles the most common federal, state, and local forms and 1099 IRS filings. It’ll even automatically file with the correct state to report new employees you hire.

Lifetime Account Access

One common pain point among businesses and employees is accessing tax documents after the employee leaves the company. Employees need to make sure W2s arrive on time and don’t get lost in the mail so they can do their taxes. When things don’t arrive, they understandably get worried and will have questions for you.

Not with Zenefits. Zenefits offers employees lifetime access to their accounts, meaning they can view any tax documents they need every year just by remembering their login information.

Extensive Labor Coding

As a business grows, so too does its complexity. Multiple departments, various office locations, tons of position types, and more all make it hard to make sure everyone’s getting paid properly.

Fortunately, Zenefits Payroll supports a vast number of labor codes, letting you get granular with your payroll data.

Garnishment Support

Wage garnishments add additional complications to your payroll. Zenefits eliminates this hassle by automatically calculating and setting aside the proper amount for any employees’ garnishments. Zenefits will even help you remit these amounts to Child Support agencies.

Reporting and Analytics

Payroll is a significant expense in any business. Reporting helps you understand your current payroll expenses and make better decisions regarding hiring and spending in other areas, among other things.

Zenefits Payroll offers numerous reports, such as:

  • Payroll timeline reporting
  • General ledger reporting
  • Payroll and tax summaries
  • Tax payments summaries
  • Employee details reports
  • Garnishment reports

And many, many more.

Integrations & Add-ons

If you use several software solutions in your business already, then Zenefits will make for an excellent payroll and HR choice, thanks to its massive list of integrations.

Zenefits can integrate with applications in numerous categories, such as accounting, finance, productivity, HR, learning, employee engagement, travel, retirement savings plans, and more. Some big names across the categories include Quickbooks, Xero, Asana, Uber, Zapier, and T Sheets.

Since Zenefits is an HR platform, it can also integrate with the business insurance application Embroker to help you find the right insurance for your employees.

Also, keep in mind that payroll itself is an add-on. Zenefits also offers advisory services where you work with HR compliance experts for $8/employee per month. You can also pay $5/employee per month to work with your own broker for business benefits. Otherwise, you can administer benefits for free through one of Zenefits’ broker partners.

Ease of Use

In general, Zenefits has a well-designed and intuitive user interface. It manages to pack plenty of functionality into a clean interface that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.

That said, it may overwhelm some small businesses that are new to such comprehensive payroll and HR software. Fortunately, as discussed later, Zenefits has plenty of video tutorials and help articles.

Customer Support

Zenefits provides numerous support options. You can reach someone via phone, live chat, or email if you need personal help. If your question is a bit simpler, feel free to check out Zenefits’ social media accounts, YouTube channel, or Help Center.

  • Phone Support
    Zenefits phone support is available Monday-Friday, 6 am-5 pm PST.
  • Email
    You can reach Zenefits via email on their contact page by selecting which team you want to chat with (sales, support, etc.).
  • FAQ
    Got questions? Zenefits has some FAQs scattered among its pages, but it also has a large Help Center full of FAQs, articles, and guides.
  • Community Forum
    Zenefits has a forum that appears to be available only to paying customers.

Final Word

Zenefits packs HR, benefits, and payroll into one comprehensive platform. Thanks to Zenefits’ numerous integrations, you can merge all your other business tools to streamline your operations and save time. Really, the only downside to Zenefits is that the mobile app is limited compared to the web-based version. Sure, payroll is an add-on, but small enough businesses get a year for free — a great deal indeed.

Overall, Zenefits is an excellent choice for small businesses that already have five or more employees. Any less than that, and it’s not the most cost-efficient choice.

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Andrew Omalley>
Andrew Omalley

Andrew is a freelance writer who has been crafting valuable pieces of content relating to personal finance for more than five years. Previously, he studied Economics & Finance at university and he has professional qualifications relating to financial advice.

We make the best effort to present up-to-date information; however, the terms of each offer can be revised according to the service provider’s discretion. The above shall not be considered as an expert or professional advice for any matter.

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