4 Cloud-based SaaS Payroll Options For Startups, Medium-Sized and Enterprise Organization

Cloud-based SaaS HR solutions went from a niche play to one of the most successful Tech categories for startups in the last 3-5 years. Most notable being the acquisition of SuccessFactors by SAP for ~$3.4B. Then there was Taleo bought by Oracle for $1.9 Billion and Workday going the IPO route. SaaS-based payroll service providers have grown in both numbers and size. With new providers popping up all the time, it can be difficult to spot the new stars that are bringing innovation to the industry. We have identified four such cloud-based payroll providers that are worth our attention, from the market leaders, down to the startup.


While Cloud-based SaaS models are typically considered a new phenomenon, CloudPay entered the scene back in 1996, known at the time as Patersons. Since then, the company has risen to become one of the leading players in the SaaS payroll model with the ability to provide payroll management and support in 160 countries by supporting 30 currencies and 26 languages.

In March 2014, CloudPay released figures showing a 40% year-over-year growth in 2012 and 2013, with similar growth expected to continue in 2014. One major contributor to the company’s continued growth is their recent strategic alliance with Western Union. Together, they have launched an automated payroll payment solution, designed to set a new standard for the way multinational organizations compensate their global employees. While specific figures were withheld, CloudPay indicated they have already experienced rapid adoption of the solution.

About CloudPay Platform:

o International Payroll Workflow (IPW) solves international payroll management challenges by allowing the validation and authorization of payroll data globally, with complete integration with Treasury capability and a full workflow audit trail ensuring SSAE 16 / ISAE 3402 (formerly SAS 70) and Sarbanes Oxley compliance.

o Platform supported and enhanced by a range of services covering implementation, managed services payroll processing and support. It uses workflow and standardized processes to provide efficient and effective global payroll management.

o Employee and Manager Self Service enables staff and management to handle a wide range of tasks.

o Payments Management and Processing across the globe, provided in partnership with Citicorp and Wells Fargo, enable local or international ACH or wire transfer payment authorization directly from CloudPay following payroll processing.

o Provides General Ledger reports that can be used as a standard report or configured to serve your specific requirements, Payment Files, and a range of standard reports and schemas that serve effective payroll operations and integration with business systems.

o Single Sign on (SSO) provides automatic integrated CloudPay login capability for fast and easy access and use within the enterprise, consistent with corporate access and control policies.

o A secure online repository and transfer capability is enabled through CloudPay Document Manager, allowing transfer of files and data required for the efficient management of payroll, supported by flexible permissions-based access controls.



Paycom is out to be a leading provider of a human capital management software solution by developing a single application for the entire employment cycle that lowers labor costs, drives employee engagement and reduces exposure, thus offering complete human capital management in one application.

There ability to do so can be noted in their recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission with intentions to go public. If their hopes are realized, the company will raise $100 million and trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

About Paycom Platform

o Talent Acquisition tools include applicant tracking, tax credit services, employment background checks, on-boarding and E-Verify.

o Time & Labor Management includes time # attendance, scheduling, time-off request, web time clocks, hardware terminals and labor allocation.

o Payroll services include online payroll processing, Paycom Pay (checks to employees cleared of Paycom’s bank account), expense management, garnishment management and payroll tax management.

o Talent and HR Management are covered with document and task management, government compliance tools designed to help companies comply with employment laws, benefits administration, manager self-service designed to empower managers and create company-wide consistency, and personnel action forms.


This Cloud-based Payroll provider of medium-sized organizations is at no loss for touting rights. Having gone public in March, 2014, Paylocity’s market cap is set at $877 million.

Not trying to be all things to all companies, the company has zeroed in on providing a comprehensive platform optimized for medium-sized organizations while providing enterprise-grade payroll and HCM applications.


About Paylocity Platform

o Web Pay: Designed to provide enterprise-grade payroll processing and administration with features including company level configuration, configurable templates, custom checklists, advanced reporting, HR insight and analytics and Affordable Care Act compliance.

o Performance Management: Gives employees the opportunity to participate in their performance review, and be more engaged in professional development.

o Self-Service HR Portal: Gives employees and managers secure, real-time access to critical payroll and HR information. Improves communication with tasks like reviewing time off requests, scheduling and benefits. Lastly, provides ability to post reminders, create custom web pages, view organizational charts and download videos through an employee or manager self service portal.

o HR: Includes employee record management and HR compliance and reporting to ensure quality in these areas while reducing the amount of time needed to manage these tasks.


You can consider JustWorks the new kid on the block in SaaS Payroll, having only been founded in late 2012, and launching one year later in October 2013. The company is aggressively working to provide a truly simple and affordable way for small businesses to manage payroll. With less than a year under their belt, the cloud payroll provider has partnered with the likes of MetLife, Fidelity and UnitedHealthcare.

One of the most alluring benefits for small businesses is the company’s free service plan that lets small businesses pay contractors, reimburse co-founders, and submit 1099s at no cost. As the businesses grow, JustWorks provides the tools and resources to meet their payroll needs through standard and premium packages.


About JustWorks Platform

o The self-service dashboard at makes it easy to on-board employees within minutes.

o JustWorks puts the whole hiring process online and making it simple for employees to easily fill out forms. This removes the need for fax machines or scanners.

o It offers direct deposit and processes payments for salaried employees, contractors & hourly workers. Payments can be made on a one-time or recurring basis.

o Companies can utilize JustWorks to offer full dental, medical and vision coverage at affordable price points.

o JustWorks files required taxes, processes payments, files for workers’ comp and handles other complex legalities for its users.

What other payroll providers do you see breaking new ground? Are you using a cloud-based payroll provider? Do you feel it is better to manage payroll in-house, or with a SaaS solution? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.