Workful payroll and HR review

Use Workful to get to grips with your small business management chores

(Image: © Workful)

TechRadar Verdict

Workful makes a great solution for small businesses with an arsenal of tools that covers HR, payroll and time management inside an easy to use and affordable package.


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    Simple interface

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    No-nonsense feature set

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    Affordable solution


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    A bit niche

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Workful is an interesting option if you’re a small business owner that needs to maximize your time management by covering payroll, HR and timesheet needs inside one package. The software solution has been around for four years now, is perhaps best known for its payroll potential and was developed by the same people who brought us TaxSlayer software. However, the online package does quite a lot more than that and, thankfully, offers its services for an affordable amount of money. 

What’s more, Workful aims to deliver a simple to use system that should hopefully be relatively low maintenance. The package comes with a pretty straightforward setup process, plus there’s also plenty of help available from support services. Add it all together and Workful is an impressive proposition that should grow more appealing as you pick through the features outlined below.


Workful offers a refreshingly straightforward single tier pricing system (Image credit: Workful)

Workful payroll and HR: Pricing

The Workful ethos seems to be one of keeping things simple, and that follows through to the area of pricing. Currently, Workful offers a free 30 day trial, and following that you can sign up for the paid-for service, which costs $25 a month plus $5 for each employee per month. The single pricing tier is helpful as you know exactly where you stand with Workful because it includes the core aspects of the package, which revolve around payroll, time tracking and also packs in plenty of employee tools too.


The Workful features a very easy to use interface for both managers and employees (Image credit: Workful)

Workful payroll and HR: Features

Considering the affordability offered by Workflow the set of features it comes with is impressive and covers a variety of bases. For the payroll aspect of the package there are unlimited payroll runs, multiple pay rates, built-in time tracking, state/federal tax forms and integration with QuickBooks. You can also prepare W-2 and 1099 forms, create reports, produce electronic paystubs and carry out direct deposits. 

In addition, users get an employee portal for W-4’s, onboarding tools, check printing and everything can be access from any location. Time tracking follows suit with more on the features front, including payroll syncing, automatic calculation of overtime and hours plus PTO tracking. It also delivers customized policies and there are multiple accrual methods. 

Employee tools add another edge to the feature set, with the aforementioned employee portal allowing easy onboarding, expense tracking and a place to store documents and file for mileage reimbursement.


Usefully Workful can be accessed via a browser or through your mobile (Image credit: Workful)

Workful payroll and HR: Performance

For a system that is going to be accessible by both managers and employees the Workflow concept is a strong one. The employee portal allows workers to easily access information, via the web with an app that emulates the exact same experience. That means it can be accessed from anywhere, and gives managers the option of carrying out tasks like making reimbursements via payroll, tracking time-off requests and creating calendar events and notifications. 

Overall then, Workflow has been nicely developed to offer a simple but effective package that is especially useful thanks to its access-from-anywhere appeal.


Payroll tasks can be run from the desktop or a mobile device (Image credit: Workful)

Workful payroll and HR: Ease of use

The bulk of your activity, and naturally that of your employees will happen in and around the central dashboard area. This is an aspect of Workful that has been spruced up more recently, so the latest iteration packs in more functionality and features while also offering a much more straightforward user experience. 


Official forms can be stored and accessed from with the dashboard area (Image credit: Workful)

The menu that runs down the left-hand side of the main window allows access to core options, such as payroll and the time clock, but it also lets you dip into employee data areas, locate and store documents as well as delivering expense and mileage tools. In addition, there’s a reports tab plus the ability to tweak and customize settings when and if it’s necessary.


Workful comes with all of the usual levels of support plus an inline hub (Image credit: Workful)

Workful payroll and HR: Support

If you’re signed up for the Workflow package you also get the benefit of access to its support network. This opens up with a great central help hub, which contains the option for searching through articles and videos about the software and all of its features. On top of that, the help center enables you to get in touch with the support staff during regular business hours. 

In fact, it's possible to chat, send an email or give the support team a call depending on your question or technical issue. There’s also a very decent online community that can be found with the support area, plus there’s a blog that delivers some practical insights into both the software and the people and businesses who use it.

Workful payroll and HR: Final verdict

Workful delivers an excellent package that will primarily appeal to the small business community, not least of which because of its affordability. There are plenty of power tools for tackling everyday SME challenges too though, with the ability to handle payroll, HR and time handling with little in the way of fuss and bother. It’s hardly surprising to find these efficiency-based tools come from the same people who developed TaxSlayer all those years ago. 

The experience shows in this package, and while it’s something of a work in progress there’s definitely enough on offer here to make Workflow worth considering if you’re a small business owner. It’s doing battle with the likes of Gusto and OnPay, but there’s no reason why there isn't room in this marketplace for another practical software solution.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.