Zenefits Payroll Review
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Zenefits Payroll Review

Zenefits Payroll is a surprisingly robust add-on option that offers full-service payroll processing. Zenefits Payroll is only available to Zenefits HR users.

Quick Hits

What We Like

  • Complete integration with Zenefits HR
  • Full-service payroll
  • Integrates with accounting applications

Could Be Better

  • Requires a minimum of 5 employees
  • Does not support minimum wage requirements for tipped workers
  • Reporting options are in spreadsheet format

The Blueprint Score

Determined and ranked by our resident expert based on firsthand knowledge and unbiased research.

Ease of Use 8/10
Support 8/10
Pricing 8/10
Features 8/10
out of 10

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Zenefits is best known for its robust HR application, Zenefits HR. However, its add-on payroll module, Zenefits Payroll, is surprisingly robust and a great option for those already using Zenefits HR.

Who is Zenefits Payroll for?

Designed to integrate seamlessly with Zenefits software applications such as Zenefits HR, Zenefits Payroll is an excellent option for small businesses with more than five employees.

Zenefits Payroll system includes a number of features typically found in more robust payroll applications, making it a worthy investment for small business owners who currently use or plan to use Zenefits HR.

While Zenefits Payroll can help small restaurants track cash tips, it does not currently support tip credits, tip minimum wage requirements, or tip reporting, making the application better suited for businesses that do not employ tipped workers. It’s also not suitable for businesses with more than 100 employees.

Zenefits Payroll’s features

Zenefits Payroll offers a long list of features, including:

  • Direct deposit
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Multiple schedules and pay rates
  • Contractor payments
  • Support for imputed income

Zenefits Payroll supports both hourly and salaried employees as well as multiple pay schedules including weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, and monthly options.

In addition, you can use Zenefits’ time and attendance feature to easily track all employee time, including sick, vacation, and holiday pay, as well as manage time-off requests.

A mobile app for both iOS and Android devices is available in Zenefits Payroll, with administrators and managers able to perform numerous payroll tasks from their mobile devices, including time clock entry approval, time-off approval, and checking on the status of new hires.

In addition, employees can access current and historical pay stubs as well as documents such as employee handbooks or employment letters using their mobile devices.

A handy feature for payroll managers is the Payroll Timeline, which displays all recent payroll-related transactions.

A screenshot of Zenefits Payroll feature for payroll managers.

The Payroll Timeline provides you with a list of all recent payroll transactions made.

Using the timeline, you can choose to view current transactions, search for transactions by employee, or display a list of all transactions.

Zenefits Payroll handles calculations for all taxable wages and includes an option to file reports and remit payments for those who don’t want to file on their own. In addition, Zenefits Payroll includes year-end forms such as W-2s and 1099s for contractors and takes care of new hire reporting requirements as well.

Zenefits Payroll also sends out automatic payroll reminders when payroll is approaching, and the automated task list ensures you don’t skip an important step in the payroll process.

Integration with accounting applications

Zenefits Payroll integrates with QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, and Xero, making it a good option for accountants looking to integrate payroll with the general ledger.

Another plus is that even if you’re using another accounting application, you can use the general ledger mapping feature that allows you to integrate your current accounting software with Zenefits Payroll reports.

Flexible earnings and deduction tracking

If your business uses multiple earnings types, you’ll appreciate the flexibility found in Zenefits Payroll. You can add multiple custom pay types for all of your employees and contractors, assigning both an earnings category and a rate type.

Screenshot of Zenefits Payroll custom pay types and deductions section.

Zenfits Payroll lets you enter custom pay types and deductions.

In addition, you can set up custom deduction types as well as contributions, with the ability to set both contribution and deduction levels as a flat amount or as a percentage of pay.

Integration with Zenefits HR

Because you’ll need to be a Zenefits HR subscriber in order to use Zenefits Payroll, you’ll also have access to the following features:

  • New hire onboarding
  • Time tracking
  • Time-off management
  • Automatic salary changes

All of these features automatically sync with the payroll application, eliminating the need to enter data twice. In addition, all employees can access their pay stubs using the Zenefits mobile app. The pay stubs feature provides the following information for each employee:

  1. Net pay
  2. Earnings
  3. Deductions
  4. Taxes withheld
  5. Employer contributions
  6. Year-to-date earnings

In addition, managers can add a message to an employee’s pay stub either individually, or by creating a common message that will be delivered to all employees.


Zenefits Payroll offers a good selection of payroll-related reports, including the recent updating of its All-in-One report, which offers a view of all payroll-related activity, including gross pay, tax deductions, and other information.

Screenshot of Zenefits Payroll payroll-related reports.area.

Zenefits Payroll offers a good selection of payroll-related reports.

Report customization options are limited to basic search criteria in Zenefits Payroll, but all reports are automatically created as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or CSV files, which offer better customization capability.

In addition to the All-in-One report, other reports offered in Zenefits Payroll include:

  • Employee details
  • Payroll detail
  • Payroll summary
  • Tax liability
  • Payroll register
  • Tax payments
  • Wage and tax summary

Zenefits Payroll’s ease of use

Setting up Zenefits Payroll is easy, even if you’re still learning how payroll works. If you already use Zenefits for HR, you won’t have to add your employees into Zenefits Payroll separately.

In order to complete payroll setup, you’ll need to enter your company’s legal name, company location, and banking information for your business, as well as both federal and state tax information.

You’ll also have to provide Zenefits Payroll with the business entity type, such as S Corporation, Corporation, or LLC. Finally, you’ll need to provide a signatory, choose a pay schedule, and add employee information if it’s not already entered.

A screenshot of the Zenefits Payroll dashboard for summarized payroll details.

The payroll overview screen serves as a dashboard, providing summarized payroll details.

Zenefits Payroll has an easily navigated user interface that includes a menu bar at the top of the screen. You can navigate to the Overview screen to view upcoming pay periods and pay runs as well as view a timeline of any employee changes you’ve made recently, with an option to view them all.

The People option on the menu bar provides you with a list of all employees, including compensation type as well as their next payroll, while the Payruns option provides you with a list of upcoming pay runs and whether or not they’ve been approved. You can add an off-cycle pay run from this screen as well.

Zenefits Payroll’s pricing

In order to purchase Zenefits Payroll, you have to subscribe to Zenefits HR. Currently, Zenefits offers three plans, all requiring a five-employee minimum. Plans available include:

  1. Essentials: $8/per employee, per month
  2. Growth: $14 per employee, per month
  3. Zen: $21/per employee, per month

All three plans include the following features:

  • Core HR
  • Time & Scheduling
  • Integrations
  • Mobile app
Screenshot of Zenefits Payroll’s pricing plans.

Zenefits’ pricing currently includes free payroll for a year.

Zenefits is currently offering free payroll for one year for all new Zenefits subscribers. After the first year, payroll is available for an additional $6 per person.

Zenefits Payroll’s support

Support is available for both administrators and employees. A searchable knowledge base is also available to Zenefits users that can be accessed directly from the vendor’s website.

Zenefits Payroll’s support area for both administrators and employees.

Zen Benefits & Payroll includes easy access to a variety of help and support resources.

Zenefits also includes toll-free phone support, which is available during regular business hours, as well as both email and chat support options.

Benefits of Zenefits Payroll

One of Zenefits Payroll’s biggest benefits is the comprehensive HR platform you’ll have access to by using Zenefits. While not the best choice for companies that need to pay tipped employees, it’s a great fit for small retailers and service businesses that are interested in the HR tools offered by Zenefits HR.

If you’re using Zenefits HR, consider using Zenefits Payroll

If you pay more than five employees, it’s worth taking a look at Zenefits Payroll if for no other reason than the easy integration between the two applications. Those not using Zenefits HR should take a look at The Blueprint’s payroll software reviews to see some of the other options available.

Frequently Asked Questions for Zenefits Payroll

Do I have to use Zenefits HR in order to use Zenefits Payroll?

Although Zenefits Payroll is certainly robust enough to be used as a stand-alone payroll services provider, it’s designed to be used in conjunction with Zenefits HR and is not offered as a stand-alone application at this time.

Will Zenefits Payroll handle my tax filing and payment?

Zenefits Payroll will file the appropriate reports and make tax payments to the appropriate agencies, including both federal and state tax agencies.

Does Zenefits Payroll offer time and attendance capability?

No, but Zenefits HR does. Zenefits HR’s Time and Scheduling feature provides complete employee time tracking with a time card included to record hours worked along with the option to manage employee time off requests.

If you’re looking for complete HR and payroll services, Zenefits may be a good option for your small business. Ideal for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, Zenefits HR and Zenefits Payroll can provide you with the tools and resources your small business needs.

If you’re looking for complete HR and payroll services, Zenefits may be a good option for your small business. Ideal for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, Zenefits HR and Zenefits Payroll can provide you with the tools and resources your small business needs.

Zenefits Payroll

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Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Intuit and Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.