Vista Review

Blue Bell, PA
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Cloud, On-Premise
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Vista At A Glance

Good: Flexible payroll processing features; accommodation of federal, state and local taxes in U.S. and Canada; tax-filing service for clients.
Bad: Not intended for small businesses.
Bottom Line: Payroll solution that's designed to address a company's complex needs.

Product Overview

Vista is an end-to-end human capital management (HCM) system that automates core human resources tasks so HR administrators can focus on more strategic activities. We’ve reviewed Vista in our HRMS and ATS markets. However, this review focuses on its payroll component, Vista Payroll.

Vista Payroll accommodates companies that have complex payroll needs that can be processed either in the cloud or in-house. Administrators can process payroll efficiently, track and file taxes, and create checks. Vista Payroll can be purchased as a stand-alone component or as part of a full product suite.

Other benefits of Vista Payroll include:

  • Flexible payroll processing where payroll is automatically generated or run based on a calendar
  • Self-service access to pay information for employees
  • Accommodation of federal, state and local tax withholding and payment for both the U.S. and Canada


Vista Payroll has complete payroll administration functionality with features such as wage attachment processing, labor distribution, retroactive pay and reciprocity. Vista Payroll includes automated payroll using work schedules, time entry self-service with manager approval, and a full payroll administrator time collection tool.

For organizations with more complex time and attendance needs, an optional Vista Time component offers complete integration so that all time punches are translated into payroll activity. Administrators easily view past payroll data with the extensive historical tracking capabilities.

Payroll data can be exported to a company’s general ledger or accounting system.

The module supports both electronic and printed check and tax statements. Administrators are able to calculate and create checks on-demand.

Vista Payroll includes a variety of payroll reports that help audit and manage the payroll process. Vista Analytics provide metrics that the administrator can use to analyze payroll activity across the enterprise.

Vista Payroll includes extensive tax reporting and filing that supports federal, state and local taxes in both the U.S. and Canada. For companies that want to outsource tax-filing tasks, PDS offers this service from one of its partners.

Target Market

Vista is intended for mid-size and enterprise companies (with 300 to 10,000 employees) in the U.S. and Canada. It targets all industries, including professional services, education, government, manufacturing and utilities.

We’ve listed several of its clients below:

  • PA Cyber Charter School
  • NVR Homes
  • Inglis House
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • CPA of Canada
  • Lee County Clerk of Court (FL)
  • NeInet
  • CPC Logistics
  • Associated Electric Cooperative Inc.
  • The IMA Financial Group

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PDS’ Professional Services implementation is a comprehensive approach that includes discovery, system configuration, data conversion, interface development and training. The vendor has a fully trained, committed, tenured staff of customer support representatives, project managers and implementation specialists that work with customers to make sure their implementation is planned properly with minimal disruption.

Implementation times vary depending upon the product components, but generally range from three to six months.

Customer Service & Support

PDS provides a variety of training courses based on the specific Vista components, including:

  • A two-day course on an overview of Vista Human Resources
  • A two-day course on the Benefits and Leave Accrual module
  • A two-day course on the Payroll module
  • A two-day course on running Crystal Reports within the Vista application
  • A four-day course on technical administration
  • A three-day course on the Vista Recruiting module
  • A half-day course on the Analytics module
  • A half-day course on Vista EasyAsk

The vendor strongly believes in one-on-one relationships with clients. Clients can contact support staff online or by phone. There’s also a support site where users can access demos and product videos, product updates and tax compliance updates.

PDS hosts a user group conference every 18 months where users can network with PDS staff and other users. Conference attendees can participate in brainstorming sessions where they prioritize the features that PDS will add to the product.


Clients have the opportunity to purchase the full Vista product suite or individual modules. PDS offers both on-premise and cloud deployment, and licensing methods include either a licensed or Software as a Service (SaaS) model with pricing that’s based on the number of active employees. Contact PDS directly for a quote.


Vista isn’t intended for small businesses, as its features may be too robust. Small businesses can check out our other payroll software reviews.


PDS Screenshot 1
PDS Screenshot 2
PDS Screenshot 3


Personnel Data Systems Inc. (PDS) was initially founded in 1974, when it first introduced a personnel and benefits solution. The company has continued to innovate and improve the scope of product components to deliver the solutions customers have asked for.

Vista, its product suite, has grown into a fully integrated recruiting, HR, benefits and payroll solution that supports the U.S. and Canadian markets.

PDS is dedicated to developing a comprehensive solution using the latest technology so employee information is available via a computer or mobile device. Customers enjoy personal attention and the ability to participate in a long-running user group.

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