As the old cliché goes, a company’s most important assets are its people or what many HR professionals call “human capital”. Therefore, it is imperative that small business owners have systems and partners that can manage their employees. Fortunately, there are organizations called Professional Employers’ Organizations, or PEOs, which help business owners manage important human resource tasks such as payroll, health / life insurance, tax administration, and more. regulatory compliance. Having the right PEO business can greatly benefit a small business, as those with PEOs grow about 10% faster. It also prevents a business from closing prematurely, as those with a strong PEO partner are 50% less likely to close. This comprehensive resource will cover essential information on employee leasing, benefits, and the best small business PEOs.
What is a PEO?
A PEO, or professional organization of employers, is a type of HR outsourcing service that helps small and medium-sized businesses manage HR tasks such as payroll, benefits, business assurance, and compliance.
The PEO industry has taken off in recent years, becoming one of the fastest growing business service industries, growing employment at a rate 14 times that of the US economy in its together. This growth has a lot to do with increased scrutiny of business practices – businesses of all sizes have to comply with a lot of complex regulations ranging from paying taxes to insurance requirements and everything in between. These tasks can be overwhelming, so it would be wise to partner with a reputable PEO company.
PEOs can help with more than administrative tasks, they can also provide employers with important human resource solutions such as workplace training and conflict management solutions. If a small business owner invests in training their employees during the onboarding phase; They will be able to do their jobs more efficiently with a minimum of errors. In fact, many young workers, such as millennials, say that a company with a solid training program would encourage them to work there.
Some employers may be too busy or want to save money by not receiving training. However, this is “wise and stupid” because it will cost them more in the long run. In addition, employees who cannot develop their skills within the company are 12 times more likely to leave.
5 Best PEO Companies in 2021
The 5 Best PEO Organizations to Consider:
Justworks was established in 2012 as a simple software platform combined with expert support for payroll, benefits, human resources and compliance. Today, Justworks has over 600 employees and partners with leading benefit providers such as Aetna and MetLife. We chose it as the best overall because it’s affordable, easy to install, and suited to help those small business owners who need your help the most.
On the payroll front, Justworks makes it easy to create full-time, part-time, salaried or hourly employees, as well as contractors. The platform can automate direct deposits or make off-cycle payments for suppliers and contractors as needed. Justworks can also automatically report payroll taxes, W-2 and 1099 forms, and help users comply with changing labor regulations.
In terms of benefits, Justworks partners with trusted vendors to give employees access to medical, dental, visual, 401 (k) and other benefits, with plans and pricing that are generally only available for large companies.
Justworks streamlines hiring and onboarding with automated HR tools. New hires can enroll themselves, set up direct deposits, choose benefits, and manage paid time off (PTO) online. Employers can also store a company calendar and directory, manuals and policies, and employee documents, all online for easy access.
Finally, Justworks offers compliance assistance to simplify the management of a business. The software manages payroll deductions, reports, payroll tax remittances, and W-2 and 1099 files. Users have access to a series of online training courses to help them meet regulatory requirements. Justworks also offers live and online support for workers’ compensation, COBRA administration, unemployment insurance claims, wage garnishment, and more.
Justworks offers two plans with prices based on the number of employees in each company. It also offers 24/7 support via phone, text, email, live chat, or Slack.
- Up to 24 employees: $ 49 per employee per month
- 25 to 99 employees: $ 44 per employee per month
- 100 to 174 employees: $ 39 per employee per month
- More than 175 employees: Consult the prices
- Employee pay and schedules
- Off-cycle payments
- Payments from suppliers and contractors
- Employer’s social security declarations
- W-2 and 1099 deposits
- Unemployment insurance declarations
- Employment practices in liability insurance
- HR advice
- Harassment prevention and inclusion training
- Online employee onboarding
- Management of paid leave (PTO)
- Calendar, documentation center, directory
- Accounting software integrations
- Benefits for travelers
- Plan configuration
- Up to 24 employees: $ 99 per employee per month
- 25 to 99 employees: $ 89 per employee per month
- 100 to 174 employees: $ 79 per employee per month
- More than 175 employees: Consult the prices
- All the features of the basic package.
- COBRA administration
- Health promotion services
- One Medical (if applicable)
RUNNER-UP, BEST OVERALL
Paychex was founded in 1971 to make payroll outsourcing easy and affordable for small businesses. Today, the company has more than 14,000 employees and more than half a million small and medium-sized businesses across the country. We chose it as the second because it offers a customizable HR platform with dedicated HR professionals assigned to each client.
Paychex offers the same services as Justworks and the other PEOs we’ve reviewed. The Paychex Flex platform allows users to manage human resources, payroll and benefits from a single dashboard. Employees can complete their onboarding, access and edit personal information, fill out tax forms, view payroll data and more, all online.
Payroll can be submitted online from a desktop or mobile device or over the phone, with Paychex calculating payroll taxes and submitting them to the appropriate agencies. The platform can handle payments to salaried, hourly and contract workers and supports direct deposit, paper checks and payment cards. Paychex also offers a free mobile application for users and their employees.
Paychex makes it easy for employees to register and manage benefits online. The business can work with an employer’s existing benefit providers or offer packages for various medical, dental, and vision plans, as well as 401 (k) accounts, flexible expense accounts, savings accounts , health and wellness reimbursement arrangement accounts. Paychex also monitors labor laws and regulations to help employers comply with changes to workers’ compensation, COBRA administration, unemployment insurance, and other matters.
What really sets Paychex apart from other vendors we’ve reviewed is that it assigns a dedicated HR professional to each of its clients. Paychex human resources professionals can offer assistance with hiring and managing employees, creating an employee handbook, employee training, annual records, workplace safety, and more.
Paychex offers PEO plans with per employee pricing to organizations. Each plan is scalable and users can customize certain aspects, including medical or workers’ compensation policies. Although Paychex does not list the prices on its site, our research has shown that employers can expect to pay $ 100 per month per employee for bi-weekly payment with basic PEO services.
BEST FOR STARTUPS
Founded in 1994, XcelHR is a PEO that aims to help small business owners grow and become more profitable. A smaller company than most we saw, XcelHR has 8,000 customers and $ 300 million in payroll processed per year. We chose it as the best for startups due to its lower business size limit, flexible pricing, and small business advisory services.
XcelHR offers all standard PEO services, including human resource management, tax and payroll management, talent acquisition, benefits management, retirement services, and risk management. The company’s cloud-based HR software combines time and attendance, integration, document management, and payroll processing in a single platform with a customizable, easy-to-use interface.
XcelHR also offers additional support for startups and small businesses beyond its PEO offerings. These include access and technical support for the company’s preferred recruiting and time tracking platforms, training webinars, local events, and an HR podcast.
XcelHR has created its pricing model to accommodate startups and small businesses. The company only requires employers to have at least one employee, they do not have a minimum wage, and it allows them to choose between paying a percentage of their payroll or per employee. While XcelHR does not offer pricing on its website, our research shows that employers can expect to pay $ 120 per month per employee.
4. ADP TotalSource
BEST FOR SCALING
ADP was established in 1949 as Automatic Payrolls, Inc., as a manual payroll processing company. Today, the company provides human resources, payroll, talent and benefits management to 900,000 clients in 140 countries. We chose it as the best scalable because it offers advanced HR consulting expertise and services for growing businesses.
Like most PEOs, ADP TotalSource offers a full range of human resources services, including payroll, recruiting, human resource management, benefits, and employment law compliance. It can also help employers track tax payments and payroll data through a convenient mobile app.
One of ADP’s greatest strengths is its deep expertise in industry regulation and compliance. For example, the ADP TotalSource dashboard allows healthcare providers to easily track licenses, certifications, and training, all in one system. Manufacturing companies can even receive on-site OSHA and safety training from ADP human resources professionals.
ADP provides businesses with access to Fortune 500 benefits, including cost-effective insurance, traveler benefits, perks and discounts, and 401 (k) retirement savings plans. Employees can self-register, register and manage all of their benefits online or with a mobile app.
ADP TotalSource pricing is based on a company’s credit rating, workers’ compensation rating, and health insurance experience. While ADP doesn’t publish pricing on its site, our research shows employers can expect to pay anywhere from $ 120 to $ 240 per month per employee.
THE BEST FOR PERSONALIZED HR SUPPORT
Founded in 1988 in the San Francisco Bay Area, TriNet is a PEO that provides small and medium-sized businesses with full-service human resources solutions tailored to the industry. It is classified as an organization of professional employers certified by the IRS and currently serves more than 17,500 clients and 340,000 employees. We choose it as the best for personalized HR support because it offers personalized support by HR consultants specializing in the industry.
As a PEO, TriNet offers a comprehensive HR platform with payroll services, employee self-service, online benefits enrollment and an on-call team of professional HR specialists. All of this is available in a modern and streamlined interface, as well as a mobile app.
TriNet offers accurate and compliant payroll with secure processing, tax deductions and reports for every type of employee. Employees can sign up for direct deposit, view and print pay stubs and W-2 forms, and track PTO, all through an easy-to-use self-service portal.
TriNet offers employers a variety of insurance plans from large companies like Aetna, Blue Cross, MetLife, Kaiser Permanente, etc. Users can choose additional employee benefits (such as pet insurance and traveler benefits) to attract new employees. TriNet also helps employers navigate the Affordable Care Act, COBRA, disability and state requirements to avoid compliance issues.
TriNet clients have access to a talented pool of HR experts available to consult with them on everything from recruiting and onboarding to benefits and compliance. The company provides strategic HR services to help businesses scale, as well as tools to streamline talent recruitment and hiring, including workshops and resources to help retain and grow talent.
TriNet is unique in that it tailors its PEO offering based on industry and company size. A marketing company with 50 employees will be directed to a page on the TriNet site focusing on the specific needs of this type of business as well as case studies of TriNet customers in this industry. This helps clients see exactly how a PEO like TriNet can help their business.
TriNet pricing is based on variables such as industry, company size, and location. As a result, no prices are listed on their website, but our research has shown that employers can expect to pay $ 125 per month per employee.
We reviewed over a dozen PEO service providers as part of this review. We have researched companies that offer a full range of HR services in a manner that is friendly to both employees and employers. We’ve also made sure to find vendors who offer on-demand or dedicated support from live HR consultants. Having an HR professional with just a phone call or chat can be invaluable to a business facing a sensitive HR issue.
Finally, we wanted to highlight the service providers most suited to companies at different stages, from startups to rapidly evolving companies, as well as franchisees who need to train and integrate their employees quickly. We were then able to identify the best PEO services to help businesses grow and prosper.
What is the best PEO?
Amplify PEO –
Best for most- Justworks
Best for businesses without an in-house HR department. Paychex
Best for growing –SMBs with fewer than 49 employees.
Best for businesses with more than 150 employees- Insperity
What are PEO companies?
Professional Employer Organizations (PEO’s) provide integrated, outsourced human resource services that help reduce employer risks by ensuring compliance.
How many PEO companies are there?
There are 487 PEOs in the U.S. that provide payroll, benefits, and other HR services to hundreds of thousands of primarily small and mid-size businesses employing 4 million people. PEOs help businesses improve productivity, increase profitability, and focus on their core mission.