Zenefits Payroll Review

San Francisco, CA
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Zenefits At A Glance

Good: An easy-to-use platform with features that automate many payroll functions, like deduction calculations and tax filings.
Bad: Customer support can be difficult to reach, especially after the implementation process.
Bottom Line: A full-service payroll system that connects to all HR solutions to streamline tasks and sync critical information.

Product Overview

Zenefits is an all-encompassing, cloud-based HR suite that improves efficiency by automating key tasks related to payroll, benefits, performance, compliance and more. This review will focus on the features and benefits of Zenefits’ payroll system. For more information about Zenefits’ full HR functionality, read our Zenefits HRMS Review.

Zenefits’ payroll system connects to all your HR solutions. The system automatically syncs any changes you make while managing employee information to reduce errors in critical payroll and tax documents.

Zenefits has launched a new program called In It Together to help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. New clients that sign up for any of Zenefits’ paid plans will have free payroll features for 12 months. It also applies to current Zenefits customers that aren’t signed up for payroll features. Clients that currently pay for payroll functionality will be upgraded to the Zen plan at no extra cost. The Zen plan offers the Well being app.


Zenefits automates its payroll features so the software can practically run on its own. This allows your team to focus more on performance instead of correcting errors or making tedious calculations.

Some of Zenefits’ key payroll features include:

  • Automatic Pay Runs – Figure out the best payroll schedule for your company, and Zenefits will automatically run it for you.
  • Automatic Tax Filings – For no additional cost, Zenefits can process your W-2s and file your taxes in all 50 states.
  • Automatic On/Off Boarding – Zenefits will automatically add a new hire’s data to payroll and calculate all deductions. Zenefits will also prorate the person’s first and last pay checks with your company.
  • Automatic Upkeep – Payroll is integrated with all of your Zenefits solutions, so any updates and changes made to employee information are automatically synced.

Zenefits also has features that give you and your employees full visibility for payroll functions, allowing you to better understand when and why updates or changes were made. Those are:

  • Payroll Timeline – A complete visual history of the events that change payroll ( like start date, life changing event, etc.), which help employers answer employees’ questions.
  • Smart Stubs – To help employees understand their paychecks better, this breaks them down into a clearer format.
  • Easy Comp – Easily collaborate with your team to coordinate bonuses and commissions for each employee on a single-platform dashboard.
  • Pay Preview – Preview and manage a paycheck before the pay run to make sure everything’s correct. You’re able to edit ledgers, dig deeper into deductions and more with this overview tool.

Target Market

From health care to retail to IT and more, Zenefits aims to help small to mid-sized businesses in a growing list of industries.

Since it was founded in 2013, Zenefits has helped over 11,000 organizations’ HR departments become more efficient. We’ve listed some of its notable customers below:

  • Agency EA
  • Coney Island Prep
  • Fireclay Tiles
  • Goals for Autism
  • Impact
  • Lensrentals
  • MeUndies
  • Narvar
  • Strada
  • Ylabs

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To start the implementation process, you must sign up on the Zenefits payroll page. Then a support team member will contact you to help get everything set up for your company.

Customer Service & Support

You must log into your Zenefits account for targeted customer support. The support team is available via email to address any questions or concerns you may have.

If a request is urgent, contact the support team by phone, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST), and Thursday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST.


Zenefits offers three levels of pricing: Essentials, Growth and Zen. Customers can be billed monthly or yearly.

Essentials: $10/employee per month ($8 for yearly billing)

  • HR platform
  • Time and attendance
  • Scheduling
  • Compliance
  • Mobile app
  • PTO tracking
  • App connect (ability to integrate Zenefits to third-party applications)

Growth: $18/employee per month ($14 for yearly billing)

  • All features in Essentials plan
  • Compensation management
  • Performance management

Zen: $27/employee per month ($21 for yearly billing)

  • All features in Growth plan
  • Well being (features that help companies measure employees’ well being)

Zenefits also offers optional features, such as:

  • Payroll ($6 per employee per month)
  • Benefits ($5 per employee per month if company wants to use their existing broker; free for companies that use a broker from Zenefits’ partner network)
  • Advisory services ($10 per employee per month; $8 for yearly billing): This feature includes access to certified HR and payroll experts for questions or issues


Some customers have said the implementation process was prolonged due to delayed response times from their assigned implementation representatives.

Others have mentioned that account managers become distant after implementation is complete.


Zenefits Screenshot 1
Zenefits Screenshot 2
Zenefits Screenshot 3

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Zenefits was founded in 2013 and has been one of the fastest growing Software as a Service (SaaS) start-ups in Silicon Valley. It’s built on a mission create effortless solutions to manage your business and employees.

Without the disruptive switching of legacy systems, Zenefits has helped over 11,000 small and mid-sized businesses eliminate paperwork and automate time-consuming HR tasks with it’s free, simple-to-use interface.

The company is currently headquartered in San Francisco, with a second office in Phoenix.

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User Reviews

  • User Rating
  • Rated 3.52 stars
    3.52 / 5 (21 )
  • 70.4%
  • (21)

Rated 3.52 stars
3.52 / 5 (21 )


  • Features
    User: 61%
  • Ease of Use
    User: 70%
  • Ease of Implementation
    User: 66%
  • Support
    User: 57%

Katherine Owens
Rating: 5
5 /5 stars

  • Features
    User: 50%
  • Ease of Use
    User: 50%
  • Ease of Implementation
    User: 50%
  • Support
    User: 50%

Seamless Payroll

on 2020-01-03 09:49:03

Payroll is a breeze with Zenefits and takes no time to process. I like how easy it is to go through time cards and approve them. I think payroll is Zenefits' strongest feature!

Rating: 5
5 /5 stars

  • Features
    User: 30%
  • Ease of Use
    User: 100%
  • Ease of Implementation
    User: 100%
  • Support
    User: 100%

So easy and quick!

on 2019-07-23 16:10:14

Onboarding and offboarding is the main reason we use Zenefits. It's incredibly easy to use and integrates so well with our payroll system. The only issue I have ever had is come enrollment for benefits, there's been glitched in the system cause employees not get the email to enroll and subsequently losing their coverage.

Sarah Hiller
Rating: 5
5 /5 stars

  • Features
    User: 89%
  • Ease of Use
    User: 91%
  • Ease of Implementation
    User: 83%
  • Support
    User: 95%

Great Software and Awesome Service

on 2019-06-27 18:39:39

We've been with Zenefits for 4 years and have seen a lot of changes. All positive ones. They engage the community, the support is always helpful and successful, they have a lot of cool features and make it easy to customize. They listen to your issues and work on solving them.

Shae Jackson
Rating: 5
5 /5 stars

  • Features
    User: 100%
  • Ease of Use
    User: 100%
  • Ease of Implementation
    User: 100%
  • Support
    User: 71%

Seamless low-cost solution for small to mid-sized companies that kills busy work

on 2018-12-06 11:34:47

Pros: With a solution like Zenefits, I have managed to reduce the HR budget year-over-year while going 100% paperless. The integration with our applicant tracking system allows me to push data seamlessly from my mobile device directly to Zenefits to extend an offer, wherever, whenever. I am no longer chained to the constraints of my desk, which is critical for an HR team of one. Easily the most comprehensive solution in the market (at this price point) that addresses onboarding/offboarding, automated and customized email triggers to employees, time and attendance, insurance, aca compliance, reporting (standard and custom) and a multitude of integrations. Since becoming a client over 2 years ago, I have gone to market year-over-year, and haven't found a solution that is comparable. Zenefits kills the busy work and allows me to dedicate time to our employees and driving meaningful initiatives, restructuring the experience with HR to being a partnership versus an administrative burden.

Cons: I wish the performance management module was baked into the subscription versus an add-on cost. The transition to a new brokerage, OneDigital, has come with its challenges, but I appreciate that the leadership teams both with Zenefits and OneDigital have been willing to personally speak with me to determine how gaps can be bridged to improve my experience as the employer.

Sarah Hiller
Rating: 5
5 /5 stars

  • Features
    User: 50%
  • Ease of Use
    User: 50%
  • Ease of Implementation
    User: 50%
  • Support
    User: 50%

Very Satisfied

on 2018-11-20 15:26:01

We have been a customer for 3 years. I'm very happy with the services. Payroll, time off, and benefits. The benefits services especially have been wonderful. Super easy. The customer service has been wonderful as well.

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