Ascentis Review

San Francisco, CA
Deployment Model:
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Cloud, On-Premise
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Ascentis At A Glance

Good: A comprehensive HR platform, empowering employees and managers with self-service access.
Bad: Implementation tactics have received criticism.
Bottom Line: HRIS software with online payroll, an applicant tracking system and a robust learning management system.

Product Overview

Ascentis is a robust HR platform that empowers companies through six unique tools that cover much of the spectrum of core and strategic HR software.

The human resources management software offered by Ascentis is Ascentis HR, an on-demand tool that gives users the ability to manage employee data throughout their term with the company. This high-level, broad tool helps managers organize benefits utilizing rules-based benefits engines. As a distinct software, this tool can be fully integrated with Ascentis Payroll.

Online payroll services are executed through Ascentis Payroll, the program that was formally know as InstaPay when it was owned by EBS On Line. This cloud-based payroll software gives managers the ability to process payroll in real-time, ensuring security and complete accuracy. No batch uploads are neccessary, and information is processed speedily.

Ascentis’ time and attendance software is Ascentis Timekeeper, which helps managers keep track of things like employee scheduling, resource utilization, and labor cost, among others. As a simple self-service tool there is no need to involve IT, and much time is saved by automating formerly time-consuming processes. Timekeeper integrates completely with Payroll and Ascentis HR.

Ascentis Recruiting is an applicant tracking system that helps managers organize their hiring system to optimally recruit the best talent. The recruiting software gathers and organizes candidate information in a single place to simplify and automate the entire process. It also can create a unique application portal on the company website to process applications swiftly and fairly.

Employee and manager self-service capabilities are available through Ascentis as well.

Ceridian, Paychex, and Kronos are Ascentis’ prime competitors, operating in the same space and offering similar strengths.


In addition to the product features explained above, Ascentis offers users the following capabilities:

Benefits Administration

  • Vacation / Leave Tracking
  • Benefits Management
  • FMLA Administration

HR Management Information System

  • Email Notifications
  • Reporting


  • Compensation Management
  • Payroll Management
  • Salary History

Performance Record

  • Position History
  • 360 Assessments
  • Performance Tuning


  • Recruiting Management

Training / Learning Management System

  • Employee Lifecycle
  • Learning Management
  • Onboarding

Work Time

  • Attendance Management
  • Customization
  • Customizable Fields
  • Customizable Reporting

Target Market

Ascentis works with companies across a wide spread of markets, but is focused primarily on mid-sized companies, with between 100 and 2,500 employees. Below are listed some of their premier clients:

  • Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
  • Francis Ford Coppola Winery
  • Area Agency on Aging
  • Bare Escentuals
  • GAT Airline Ground Support
  • Community of Christ
  • Mona
  • Monster
  • Ghiradelli

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Ascentis has a team of technical experts that work with clients on implenting their software in all stages. Below are listed their key offerings:

  • Installation
  • Data import
  • Data conversion
  • Customization
  • Benefits configuration
  • Time and attendance program structure
  • Training
  • Alerts setup
  • Custom Alerts creation
  • Payroll link initiation
  • Self-service implementation
  • Training
  • System configuration

Customer Service & Support

Ascentis online support includes multiple account managers, who are available by email and phone “more than 99% of the time” according to the Ascentis website.

Specific technical support includes Go-To-Assist, which is live remote assistance where you allow an Ascentis representative to log on to your computer to address your issue remotely.

LeapFile is a trading of files through a special program that allows users to securely upload documents and share with Ascentis experts.


Ascentis doesn’t publicly display their pricing information. Please contact them directly for a quote.


Some users expressed concerns with Ascentis’ implementation tactics. However, more concern has been noted with how employee information, like specific benefit choices, can be moved from the software to Payroll without any error.

Others have noted that the Time module can tend to be buggy, and the cooresponding lag frustrating. This usually only occurs when the system is very busy.

Ascentis lacks customizable features, such a toggle to change shift differentials and shift rules depending on the preference of the customer.


Ascentis Screenshot 1
Ascentis Screenshot 2
Ascentis Screenshot 3


Ascentis today is a combination of two companies: InstaPay and HROffice, whose 2007 merger created a diverse and complete core and strategic HR software company.

InstaPay, founded in 1980 by EBS On Line, became Ascentis Payroll, focusing on customer service and processing payroll in real-time.

HROffice was designed by Ascentis corporation in 1994 as a general human resources platform dedicated to small and medium sized businesses, focusing on areas like benefits management.

Headquartered in San Francsico, Ascentis now has offices in Seattle, WA, Sacramento, CA, and Jacksonville, FL.

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Brad Miller
Rating: 5
5 /5 stars

Ascentis HR and Recruiting

on 2016-04-28 11:53:40

We have been using Ascentis HR and Recruiting for 5 months... The implementation process had a few hiccups but all in all it was great. The recruiting program saved us over $50k in the first 5 months and is on target to save us around $80k each year. The ease of use with the program is wonderful. Moving to Ascentis HR..This program is exceptional and a huge time saver. It is one of those programs that you do not know how you got along without it. The employee self service portion is also a great benefit to the employees and company. Tho we have not used it much the customer service has always been first class. We look forward to a long term relationship with Ascentis. I recommend to anyone in the market for a HRIS... Give Ascentis a long hard look it's worth it...

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