PEO services provide outsourced human resources solutions that allow businesses to focus on the everyday operations of their company. Entrepreneurs need time and energy to focus on scaling their business. Having a partner in a professional employer organization (PEO) will help ease the load.

The main benefit of using a PEO service is cost savings of over 27%. Using a PEO can reduce the time and resources needed to manage HR, payroll, and other administrative functions. It can also help reduce liability costs, provide access to better benefits, and improve employee retention.

We researched dozens of companies to help you find a PEO service to offload HR and admin tasks. The companies we settled on provide customized support that will ease the burden and free up time and resources to grow your business.  

Best PEO Services for 2023

Company# of EmployeesCertificationBest for
Insperity5 to 5,000IRS, ESACGrowing businesses
Justworks1 to 200IRS, ESACDigital HR platform
Axcet HR Solutions1 to 100IRSSMBs in Midwest
TriNet PEO5 to 100IRS, ESACNiche companies
Paychex1 to 1,000IRS, ESACSolopreneurs & startups
Amplify5 to 100ESACCustom plans
Rippling2 to 2,000Hybrid arrangement
Emplicity10 to 250IRSSMBs in California

1.Insperity

“Insperity is a robust solution. They give us the ability to compete with larger corporations.” 

Dan Calista
Founder & CEO, Vynamic

Insperity provides full-service HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. It has over 35 years of experience providing specific HR solutions:

  • Employee benefits
  • Payroll and HR administration
  • HR-related compliance 
  • Personalized HR guidance
  • HR technology

The IRS-certified PEO also provides human capital management (HCM) service and an HR technology suite to automate HR-related administration. It will match you with a package that will best suit your needs as a company. This way, you won’t be paying for services that you don’t actually need. 

More about Insperity:

  • Certified PEO by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Employer Services Assurance Corp. (ESAC) certified
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) certified with an A+ rating

Best About Insperity

Insperity is the best choice for new businesses because of its full-service solution that includes a dedicated HR team to assist you as you navigate complex HR processes. You will also get a specialist to assist you in creating the following:

  • Employee handbook
  • Job descriptions
  • Recognition programs

Insperity can also help with employee training and performance management. 

Consider This

You need at least five employees to sign up for Insperity’s services.

2.Justworks

“Justworks’ solutions meet the needs of our team. Their dedicated support combined with their user-friendly platform has allowed us to spend significantly less time on administrative tasks.”

Gina Bidaisee
HR Manager, WatsonRice

Founded in 2012, Justworks provides reliable outsourced HR services to its clients. We like how they aim to make things simpler for businesses with their user-friendly platform. The intuitive HR software is available to use on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices which is convenient for remote work and hybrid arrangements. The platform also provides resources to help companies learn more about HR management. 

Justworks provides basic HR management services such as:

  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Employee benefits
  • Payroll
  • HR tools
  • Compliance
  • Full-service support

The certified PEO also helps businesses access competitive health insurance and wellness benefits through partnerships with Aetna, Kaiser, and United Healthcare. However, these are not available in the basic package.

Best About Justworks

The best thing about Justworks in addition to its easy-to-use platform, is its superbly accessible customer service which is available 24/7 and through many channels: phone, text, email, chat, and Slack. Phone calls are also answered by Justworks employees and not voice bots. 

Another great thing about Justworks is it is upfront about its pricing which makes it easier for business owners to assess their services and decide if they are worth partnering with.  

They also operate a separate research and development entity, known as Justworks Labs.

Consider This

One of the downsides of having fixed packages is that services are not customizable. This means that some services will be included in the package that you may not need, but you have to pay for them anyway. 

There are also other platform inadequacies, albeit minor. For one, time tracking is a paid add-on service. Paid time off requests don’t automatically show the balance on the platform, so it has to be manually entered.

Justworks Fees and Terms

Justworks BasicFeatures Payroll, Benefits, HR tools, and Compliance
<50 Employees$59/mo per employee
50+ Employees$49/mo per employee
Justworks PlusPlus Access to Medical, Dental, and Vision
<50 Employees$99/mo per employee
50+ Employees$89/mo per employee

3.

“We started working with Axcet in 2018 and they have dramatically increased our internal productivity… They have solutions to every problem and we no longer feel lost trying to navigate the payroll landscape.”

Peyton Warwick
Founder, AUX Partners

Axcet HR Solutions is an IRS Certified PEO based in Kansas City. It’s been providing scalable growth for small and medium businesses through comprehensive HR solutions since 1988. Its services include the following:

  • HR support
  • Payroll administration
  • Tax services
  • Benefits
  • Risk management

Axcet HR provides Fortune 500-like employee benefits, including health insurance, dental and vision, life, accidental death, and dismemberment insurance among others. 

It has always been a challenge for small businesses to attract competent employees because they can’t compete with the salaries offered by large companies. Axcet HR can help small businesses design competitive benefits without sacrificing the organization’s financial health.

Best About Axcet HR

Small businesses will benefit a lot from Axcet’s recruitment and retention infrastructure, giving them the capability to compete with large companies. As the business grows, Axcet will also help with organizational development and structure. 

Axcet HR also conducts employee surveys regarding company culture and conditions. It is an effective way of showing employees they have a voice in the company. 

Plus, Axcet has succession plans in place so that businesses have a guide on what to do during disruptions in operations. 

Consider This

Axcet operates nationwide except in five states: California, Hawaii, Kentucky, New York, and Pennsylvania.

4.TriNet PEO

“The access to benefits that TriNet provides our employees and our organization itself, I think is directly related to our retention and the happiness of our employees.”

Aaron Ali
CEO & Co-founder, MedtoMarket

Most PEOs provide services to either small or medium companies but TriNet goes further by tailor-fitting services to specific businesses whether you are in the software, restaurant, or retail industry. 

TriNet’s comprehensive HR solutions offer the following:

  • Payroll
  • Talent acquisition and retention
  • Risk mitigation
  • Up-to-date compliance
  • Big-company benefits
  • HR support
  • Leadership and development training

All these services are accessible through TriNet’s cloud-based platform for clients’ convenience. Employers and employees can view data and update information using one login. The platform is also customizable through pre-built integrations that unify data specific to your industry. You also get performance analytics which can help businesses become more productive. 

It is also: 

  • Certified PEO by the IRS
  • ESAC accredited

Best About TriNet

Employees can access their payroll and other employee data through a mobile app. Businesses, too, can sync services like Google, Oracle, QuickBooks, and NetSuite on the platform. 

Another important benefit to this outsourced HR is its partnership with various companies that provide health insurance and benefits as well as retirement plans for employees. These bolster competitiveness for small and medium businesses that want to recruit employees from large companies. 

TriNet also offers services that most PEOs don’t such as affirmative action plans, immigration administration, and more. 

Consider This

Cloud-based platforms are great because they make things faster and more convenient. However, TriNet’s customer service takes a bit of time. There is a ticketing system and you have to wait to be served which may take hours or an entire day. In some cases, especially concerning APIs, the response may take weeks.

5.Paychex

“We use Paychex Flex for payroll purposes. It’s very helpful for reporting and employee punches.”

Janna Jackson
Business Manager, Jewish Community Day School

Paychex, which has been in the business for over 30 years, blends the advantages of having human employees and an efficient platform. It provides essential support in screening and checking the backgrounds of employees which is helpful for companies that are just starting out. Paychex also provides the forms for the onboarding process. 

Paychex offers packaged services ideal for solopreneurs, startups, and companies that have hundreds of employees who want comprehensive HR solutions:

  • Payroll services
  • Employee benefits
  • HR services
  • Time and attendance
  • Business insurance
  • Business solutions
  • Product integrations

It is also:

  • Certified PEO by the IRS
  • ESAC accredited

Best About Paychex

Paychex is perfect for solopreneurs and startups, particularly in the field of compliance. Paychex automates the process of filling employee payroll taxes, both state and federal, so things are done fast and on time. Errors are few to none with automated filing. 

At a time when remote work and hybrid arrangements are in, it also helps that Paychex has a cloud-based time management system. It’s a crucial service for companies with hundreds of employees. 

Consider This

Several Paychex services are done on its cloud-based platform. The user experience and interface on Paychex’s site need improvement. Users need time to acclimate themselves to the platform which may become overwhelming at times. It helps that Paychex has responsive customer service. 

Paychex Fees and Terms

Paychex employs custom pricing because the cost depends on your needs. The most basic payroll bundle is the Paychex Flex Essentials which begins at $39 per month for the overall service and $5 per employee. 

The following are its package bundles:

  • Paychex Flex Essentials
  • Paychex Flex Select
  • Paychex Flex Pro

6. Amplify PEO

Small and medium-sized companies that have not worked with a PEO before will get everything they need from Amplify, a customer-focused company that provides HR services. Specifically, it offers the following:

  • Payroll solutions
  • Benefit solutions
  • HR management
  • Retirement services
  • Risk management and compliance

Amplify PEO payroll services are quite comprehensive, starting with administration and paycheck distribution through direct deposit. Amplify will provide support in W-2 preparation. Other services are done online such as payroll and paid time-off so employees can track them. For management personnel, there are also HR reports and general ledgers accessible online so they are available anytime they’re needed. 

Amplify is also ESAC accredited.

Best About Amplify

Every business needs a different set of HR solutions which is why Amplify allows you to customize its services. One of its services is the employee assistance program (EAP), which is not a common service among PEOs. EAP is an essential service to employees who may have personal or professional issues that could affect their personal and mental well-being. 

Amplify also offers helpful services to startups that may need assistance in creating company policies and procedures as well as an employee handbook. 

Consider This

Like most companies still finding their footing in the industry, Amplify has some limitations. It lacks experts who can help clients navigate its services although customer service staff members are nice and polite. Troubleshooting issues may take some time.

7. Rippling

“Onboarding that could take up to 60 minutes with TriNet can be done in only 6 minutes with Rippling, thanks to automation and integration within the PEO.”

Erika Woods
Head of People, Stacklet

Businesses implementing remote-work or hybrid arrangements can take advantage of Rippling’s HR solution that provides the following related services:

  • Onboarding and offboarding
  • Payroll
  • Employee benefits
  • HR support
  • Time and attendance
  • Learning management
  • Talent management
  • Survey (employee feedback)

Rippling implements a centralized HR system that’s accessible anywhere in the world. Companies don’t need to worry about expansion even if they have remote workers. Onboarding of new employees can be done on the all-in-one HR system and it can be done within a few minutes. 

Even without an HR department, businesses will be able to comply with state and federal regulations. Rippling assists businesses with federal and local compliance, tax registration, and payroll tax filing. Employee benefits like health insurance and retirement plans are also integrated into the system.  

Best About Rippling

Rippling makes managing a growing business easy because of its cloud-based platform that allows quick onboarding within minutes. New hires can start immediately and all HR-related data can be updated quickly. The time and attendance of employees are easily tracked and HR can run payroll within minutes. 

It also has outstanding customer service. You won’t have to navigate bots whenever you have questions about the system. 

Consider This

Rippling is still relatively new, and it does not have an ESAC certification yet. Nor has it been recognized as a certified PEO by the IRS. 

Rippling Fees and Terms

Rippling offers a wide range of services that you can customize. For basic features, it starts at $8/month for every user. 

8.Emplicity

“Emplicity is a one-stop service for us. They have specialists in HR, in payroll, and in benefits, and they all have knowledge that is up-to-date so that we don’t have to search for current information on our own.”

Nui Valleta
Senior Accountant, Battleship Iowa

Emplicity provides extensive HR solutions to California-based small and medium-sized businesses. The full-service services include the following:

  • HR management
  • Employee Benefit Plan Administration
  • Payroll
  • Workers Compensation Claims Management
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Online education
  • Safety and training program
  • Recruiting services

Emplicity has a dedicated client portal where employees and managers can access vital details such as payroll, paid time off, leave requests, and benefits. These will cost extra though. 

All services are customized according to the needs of the business. Among its more uncommon PEO services is the comprehensive Workers’ Compensation Program Services which provides company support whenever there are injuries in the workplace. Injured employees also get recovery support. 

It is also:

  • Certified PEO by the IRS
  • Accredited by the Certification Institute

Best About Emplicity:

It’s easy to set up an Emplicity PEO service. By making a simple call, a representative will set up your HR services right away. Emplicity will also spend time training your employees to make navigation of the HR platform a breeze.

Services are also available in Spanish. 

Consider This:

Emplicity is only available to companies based in California. It is not transparent about its pricing, but it offers the following tiered packages:

  • HR Pro 
  • HR Plus
  • PrimePEO

Why Use a PEO Service?

Many companies have a dedicated HR department to handle all the elements of employee management and administration. However, some small businesses or new organizations could benefit from redirecting these resources toward an internal team and outsourcing these tasks to third-party service providers instead. 

When PEO service providers manage these areas, business owners and managers can focus their energy on improving operations and scaling the company. Opting for PEO services can help you rest easy since you know that all administrative work is done by highly experienced professionals. 

All organizations, large or small, can benefit from HR support. Employers can grow their businesses more quickly when they have PEO services that cover all tasks related to the following:

  • Compliance
  • Payroll
  • Tax filing
  • HR support 
  • Employees’ benefits administration
  • Risk and safety
  • Talent recruitment/hiring

What You Should Look For in a PEO

When you partner with a PEO, you are essentially offloading an important parts of business administration. Be sure to hire the best possible option that aligns with your company values and provides all of your needs. 

Here are some tips for choosing the best PEO for your business:

1. Accreditation / Certification

One of the crucial responsibilities of a PEO is maintaining compliance which means it ensures that the business meets all government requirements and industry standards. An unaccredited PEO is not the best organization to handle compliance.

2. References

Ask your potential PEO for references and solicit feedback from existing clients. It’s not a good sign if the PEO refuses to name its clients. 

3. Customization

Not all companies have the same needs so you must be able to choose and customize the services you need from your PEO. Make sure you’ve assessed your business needs before touching base with potential partners. Opt for a package you can personalize or build according to your specific business requirements. 

4. Scalable

Every entrepreneur’s goal is to scale their business. PEOs should also provide scalable services that will meet your needs for years to come. 

5. Technology

PEOs allow businesses to unload some of their management and administrative tasks onto their teams. To streamline the process, technology plays a vital role in better project management

Final Thoughts on PEO Services

PEOs are an effective way for businesses of all sizes to gain access to comprehensive HR services and expertise. A PEO allows companies to outsource the administrative and compliance aspects of HR, freeing up time to focus on core business operations.

With access to payroll, benefits, and risk management services, businesses have the peace of mind that their employee needs are being taken care of. For companies looking to streamline their HR processes, PEOs are a great option.

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