Vista Review

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

Good: Ability to track projects and tasks, geolocation time tracking (in Vista Time), flexible deployment options.
Bad: Not intended for small businesses.
Bottom Line: A choice of two components with flexible features to help companies manage their workforce.

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 and its various components, such as recruiting and payroll. This review focuses on its time and attendance components.

Vista has two time and attendance options: Time Entry, a core component that’s deployed as part of Vista Payroll and Vista Time, an optional add-on that accommodates companies that have a variable workforce that require more complex rules related to how they are paid. Vista Time Entry includes time-collection tools for the payroll administrator as well as employee and manager self-service tools. Vista Time offers enhanced features, such as a geolocation capability that monitors where an employee punches in and out.

Both time and attendance components have several benefits, including:

  • Time collection via mobile devices or online
  • Employee self-service functionality (managing their leave balance and requesting time off)
  • Ability to track projects and tasks
  • Full integration to Vista Payroll and Vista reporting tools


With Vista Time Entry, employees can submit their time using their mobile devices or a web browser. Both employees and managers can review an employee’s time card to find inaccuracies and approve time. Managers can also review time-collection data in multiple ways, such as weekly, by project or by task.

Vista Time Entry supports unlimited labor levels and integrates with the Leave Accrual process for tracking employee attendance.

In addition to submitting time sheets, Vista Time includes additional features, such as hardware time collection (bio-metric, proximity, or standard badges), dedicated dashboards for managers and employees, and drag-and-drop visual resource scheduling. The mobile feature gives users the ability to track by geolocation or set up a geofence to pinpoint the location where employees clock in or out. Kiosks can take a picture of the employee to deter “buddy punching”.

Forecasting time, FMLA tracking, advanced scheduling with shift swapping, and collecting points for tardiness are also available in this advanced module.

Both time and attendance components offer reporting and analytics capabilities to give managers up-to-date and accurate insight into their workforce.

  • Attendance Tracking?
  • Biometric?
  • Employee Scheduling?
  • Hardware?
  • Hourly Employee Tracking?
  • Mobile?
  • Salaried Employee Tracking?
  • Vacation/Sick/Leave Tracking?

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

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. The 2019 event will be the vendor’s 35th conference, and it’ll be held in Naples, FL.


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 time clock 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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