By Lars Lofgren
Payroll, IT, and talent management tools all come together to form Rippling— a payroll service provider that stands out for its unique bundle of management solutions.
While Rippling definitely looks like a shiny new tool worth onboarding at first glance, the initial challenge lies in truly determining whether it’s the tool that’ll work for your business.
Below, we run through some of Rippling’s pros and cons as well as a deeper dive into the features of each of its product offerings and how they stack up.
Let’s get to it.
Rippling Pros and Cons
- Automates a lot of your admin tasks
- Securely syncs data across systems
- Provides an employee mobile app
- Manages a global payroll system
- Manages and protects employee devices
- Automates time tracking to accurately calculate paychecks
- Comprehensively manages your employee health benefits
- Syncs HR data with payroll for faster automated processing
- Automates tax compliance and filing
- Create reports from scratch or pre-built templates
- There can be a learning curve involved during the onboarding process
- Customer support is limited to email
- Not as intuitive to use as other, simpler payroll providers
How Rippling Compares to Top Payroll Service Providers
If there’s one word to describe Rippling it would be “involved.” While the payroll service provider goes out of its way to offer a slew of tools meant to smooth out and automate the payroll process, it can sometimes be a lot to manage, especially during the onboarding process.
Needless to say, Rippling is software best geared for businesses that are looking for a comprehensive set of tools that takes them beyond the basics. Where Rippling certainly shines is its pricing. It offers a starting point of $8 a month per user, though you’ll need to request a custom quote depending on the product offering you’re interested in.
If you’re looking for more easy-to-manage software it’s worth considering a payroll tool like Gusto. It offers plenty of payroll solutions that cover all the bases that a small to medium-sized business would need. However, the tool is more user-friendly than more involved alternatives and is malleable enough to fit businesses in a number of different industries.
QuickBooks Payroll is an optimal choice if you’re primarily looking to get your payroll in order for when tax time rolls around. Though it can integrate with other applications for a more comprehensive workflow, QuickBooks Payroll makes sure to focus on the basics as far as payroll is concerned. Sometimes, especially if you’re running a small or seasonal business, simplicity can work best. Let’s switch gears and bring things back to Rippling. Here’s a look at some of its best payroll solutions.
Rippling Management & Employee Self-Service
Rippling’s app functionality runs twofold: Employees can download a mobile app that can track their pay stubs, PTO requests, and more while also allowing them to log in to their additional stack of work apps like Slack or Office 365 through a built-in authentication process.
Meanwhile, on the management side, your HR team can give and revoke app access to employees as they see fit. It makes it easy to set up app access when you onboard a new employee.
As a large organization, its features like these can make the difference between a clunky workflow that slows you down or a streamlined process that removes the friction involved in onboarding new talent and managing your existing teams.
As far as equipping you with employee self-service perks, Rippling goes beyond simply offering a self-service portal for employees to check their pay stubs and download tax documents.
Rippling Multi-State Tax Filings
Rippling automates the payroll tax process and files them for you at a state and federal level. It updates information and makes changes if your employees move locations. As a payroll solution, being able to automate the tax process is a standard tool you’d be damned not to provide.
A large part of payroll management that tends to consume a lot of resources is calculating payroll taxes. This can become increasingly difficult if you’re working with both in-house and remote workers, or if you consult with contractors every now and again.
A standout Rippling feature as far as tax filing is concerned? You can make global payroll payments without issue. This means that it isn’t only effective in managing a workforce within The States, it can also help you seamlessly work with contractors and employees around the world. This is a powerful feature for enterprise-grade payroll needs that shouldn’t be overlooked. Not all payroll software can boast the same flexibility.
Rippling Specialized Payroll Solutions
Specialized payroll solutions is unfortunately something Rippling doesn’t put much stock in. While it’s an excellent payroll solution if you’re also looking for complementary HR, IT, or onboarding solutions, you won’t find much in the way of specialized solutions if you work in a niche industry.
If getting specialized payroll solutions is a deal-breaker for you, consider a more varied tool like OnPay. It offers much of the same tools as Rippling including HR management, payroll solutions, and benefits management sans the IT and device control perks.
It also offers more in the way of specialized payroll solutions. For instance, it offers industry-specific tools for businesses in agriculture, healthcare, fitness, or accounting.
Rippling Pay Cycle Frequency
Pay cycle frequency is an important piece of the puzzle when you’re trying to get a handle on your payroll needs. Rippling takes care of this through its automated payroll tools.
Rippling can handle your pay cycles with ease once you set the rules for its automated process. To learn more about Rippling’s capabilities with pay cycle frequency, I highly recommend you schedule a 30-minute product demo to get an in-depth understanding of everything Rippling can do.
Rippling All-In-One Benefits
Benefits management makes up an important part of your payroll workflow. Rippling gets extra points for not only offering comprehensive benefits but almost fully automating the process too.
Health insurance, commuter benefits, 401(k)s, Rippling does it all. Once you’re ready to enroll in a plan, you can quote, compare, and enroll in a plan from over 4,000 of the biggest providers including BlueCross Blue Shield, Humana, or Aetna. If you aren’t interested in switching plans, it’s simple. You can keep your existing setup.
Rippling is careful about managing and transferring your coverage without making you re-enroll your employees. Not only that, when new employees are onboarded Rippling automatically invites them to check out and enroll in health insurance and retirement benefits.
As a tool that relies on automation to organize health insurance benefits, it can be ultra-useful in lessening busywork and ridding you of the piles of paperwork you might otherwise have to deal with.
Rippling Time & Attendance
Besides payroll and benefits, Rippling also boasts additional product offerings that are complementary to your payroll and management needs. For instance, its time & attendance feature allows you to skip the late approvals that can sometimes happen when you’re manually tracking time.
With its automated tracking tools, Rippling keeps track of each of your employees clocking in and out times, which directly translates to accurate paychecks and payments being sent out on autopilot. To clock in, employees can use the Rippling app or a tablet kiosk. You can also easily pull up and review individual employee time cards when necessary.
Tracking time and payroll becomes more efficient once you’re given complete control over the rules and logic that govern the automated process. Rippling lets you customize its system to your unique needs. Additionally, you can also set rules that’ll automate an alert process if something about a particular time card doesn’t add up or violates your pre-set rule.
Rippling Learning Management
As if time tracking and payroll weren’t enough, Rippling has recently introduced a learning management system. If you’re in the midst of training your team, this can be a complementary addition to your payroll workflow.
The value in offering a training solution is that it helps you get rid of the busywork that arises from a decentralized training curriculum. Rippling easily lets you add and upload courses and enroll specific employees in them. It also allows you to track progress.
What’s more, you can also automate your compliance training as part of your onboarding process for an easier time managing new employees. Have state-mandated courses that need to be taken every year in order to stay compliant? Rippling can automatically re-enroll employees each year to ensure that you stay compliant.
Now, you might be wondering what learning management tools have to do with payroll. It’s an interesting question to ask. While payroll can have some overlap with onboarding which can then have some overlap with training and courses, there isn’t a readily obvious need to pair the tools together. However, if your business happens to need more than a few of these employee management solutions, Rippling can be the optimal option in terms of a solution that offers variety.
Rippling Talent Management
Rippling doesn’t just stop at learning management, it also goes out of its way to offer Talent Management solutions. More specifically, you can manage your recruiting process by creating a pool of candidates that you can then easily vet with Rippling’s array of talent management tools.
Sourcing becomes easier too, since you can set up hiring workflows and processes that enable you to find and hire the best possible candidates. Rippling’s talent management features also let you post to major job boards with one click once you have a job opening.
Its built-in talent management report features give you a glimpse into candidate feedback, time-to-fill, and outliers. The beauty of Rippling offering a talent management process is that, once you’ve made a decision on what candidate to hire, the integrated onboarding process becomes a breeze. It can onboard hires in seconds, once you have your systems configured exactly how you want them.
Rippling Device Management
One thing Rippling definitely focused on was control. With its device management solutions, it enables you to both protect and remotely manage employee devices. You don’t even have to be an IT pro to successfully use the feature.
You can manage both Macs and PCs 100% remotely once you install Rippling’s app on each of your employee devices. If having greater control not only over the apps your employees use but their devices as well, Rippling’s device and app management features can enable you to exercise control at scale.
Do you need to purchase devices for new hires? You guessed it, Rippling has a built-in feature that lets you easily take care of this too.
It’s a bit unusual for payroll software solutions to offer such a varied array of features together. This can ultimately lead to a “jack of all trades, master of none” situation if you aren’t careful. However, if you’re a business that’s uniquely positioned to need a substantial amount of the features Rippling offers that also include payroll, it has the potential to be a great value add to your business.
Rippling App Management
Rippling is seemingly the gift that keeps on giving. It also offers divide management solutions so you can onboard and offboard employees to any work applications you want with one click.
This can be a helpful part of the onboarding process that helps to accelerate the process of incorporating new hires. Once you enable access to select company apps, hires can have access to them through their very own Rippling app on any of their devices.
You can automatically add employees to apps based on department or role. For instance, you can easily add new hires to your Slack channels or create their new company Gmail accounts in no time. As a time-saving feature for the IT department, device management is yet another valuable tool Rippling offers that goes beyond payroll and HR.
All in all, Rippling can be a great payroll option if you’re also thinking about incorporating closely related management tools like employee device management or learning management solutions. It’s also great if you’re trying to get a handle on a global workforce that needs an effective payroll management solution. However, I wouldn’t recommend Rippling if you’re a smaller business that needs more straightforward payroll solutions without any of the extra bells and whistles. If you’re interested in getting started with Rippling, schedule a 30-minute demo here.