Payroll is an absolutely crucial business process, and because it’s often complex and tedious many entrepreneurs rely on a professional payrollser ...
Breadth of Services
Help and Support
Ease of Us
Written by: Natalie Fell
Natalie is a writer with experience in operations, HR, and training & development within the software, healthcare, and financial services sectors.
Reviewed by: Daniel Eisner
Daniel Eisner is a payroll specialist with over a decade of practical experience in senior accounting positions.
Updated on July 14, 2023
If you’re starting a business and hiring employees, mastering payroll is likely to be one of your first major hurdles. Dealing with payroll is often quite complex and time-consuming, which is why many entrepreneurs turn to a professional payroll service.
Payroll providers handle the entire payroll process for you, making it nearly seamless and automated while offering additional services so that you can focus on building a successful business.
One of the top options is TriNet. But is it the best service? And is it the right choice for you? This review takes a closer look — putting ourselves in the shoes of an entrepreneur — to help you determine whether this is the right payroll service for your business.
Breadth of Services
Help and Support
Ease of Us
TriNet, a professional employer organization (PEO), aims to free smaller businesses from the hassle of HR by providing full-service solutions tailored to their industry.
The company’s payroll and HR services include access to premium benefits, HR expertise, risk mitigation, and more. TriNet also offers benefits administration and up-to-date tech tools.
TriNet’s payroll services include:
Pricing for TriNet’s services is only obtained by requesting a quote.
TriNet’s full-service payroll processing solutions handle employee payment, payroll tax administration, and time keeping and tracking capabilities. Additionally, both employers and employees can access important payroll information through the TriNet mobile app.
TriNet’s online payroll services include payroll processing with direct deposit and debiting, along with paperless with e-pay stubs and electronic W-2 preparation and delivery. You can also view estimated invoices, which are automatically updated as you add employees and make other changes.
TriNet’s self-service platform lets your employees enroll in direct deposit, view pay stubs, change their status, view and print W-2s and track paid time off.
Payroll services with TriNet also include payroll tax administration. They will calculate and withhold federal, state and local payroll taxes and handle your payroll administration tax documents. TriNet also manages unemployment taxes and claims.
If you’re interested in time keeping and tracking, TriNet offers an automated timecard system. Their time and attendance tools allow you to track total hours, overtime accruals and project expenses. Employees can also view their schedules, clock in and out, and request time off. Several customizable payroll reports are available and can easily be exported in PDF, Microsoft Excel or CSV.
TriNet offers a cutting-edge applicant tracking system that organizes candidates’ information and streamlines your recruiting process. The online portal makes it easy to manage all the details about your applicants and job openings in one place.
If you’re an international company, TriNet International Services offers the expertise to help you look outside the U.S. for the best available talent. They also offer assistance with managing work visas to simplify the hiring of foreign employees.
To help with onboarding and retention, TriNet has a robust training platform with more than 500 courses. TriNet also provides compensation assistance, with which companies can create total compensation statements that provide a breakdown of salary and benefits.
TriNet offers access to health and retirement coverage as well as additional benefits like critical accident and illness policies, auto and home policies, and commuter benefits. TriNet works with multiple health insurance carriers and group benefits include health, dental, vision and retirement plans offered through industry leaders.
The TriNet website is less user-friendly than other payroll providers, but it does contain a great deal of information about TriNet’s services. The site does not list pricing, other than monthly per-employee fee. The site also mentions that most TriNet contracts offer flexible terms without a long-term agreement.
TriNet’s mobile app is highly sophisticated, allowing employers and employees to access HR and payroll information. Depending on the services you choose, you can access the TriNet online platform in a user-friendly, convenient app format.
Through the TriNet mobile app, you can review important payroll information like earnings, direct deposits, next payday, pay history, and a detailed tax breakdown. Employees can compare paychecks to track changes, access W-2 and W-4 forms, and select pay stubs to send via email. The app even helps you stay current on expense reports by letting you monitor approvals for submitted expenses.
The TriNet mobile app is available for iOS and Android.
Finding information about TriNet’s cancellation policy online is terribly difficult. The website says the company offers “flexible terms without a long-term contract”, but we were unable to find any further details. Some of the reviews on the Better Business Bureau website mentioned issues with cancellation.
TriNet’s website is somewhat user-friendly, and information is easy to find. Detailed descriptions of their services and platform make it easy for business owners to picture themselves hiring TriNet.
Our brief interactions with customer service were cordial and professional, but the site offers very little information about pricing, which can only be obtained by requesting a quote.
We tested all three forms of TriNet customer support, as detailed below.
We engaged the chatbot on the TriNet website and clicked on one of the pre-populated prompts that said Pricing questions.
We did not click the Yes or No buttons. However, a few minutes later, we received another message from someone named Kori.
We asked for a ballpark pricing range for payroll services and received the following response:
We declined the offer to be connected with a local consultant and received Kori’s direct contact information for future follow up.
The chat responses were very fast, so it’s unclear whether we were chatting with a bot or a human being. Either way, we did appreciate the prompt follow-up.
We called TriNet customer service and reached a representative in less than one minute. We asked them for details on software integrations, and they asked if we were a current TriNet customer.
They told us that the information can be found on the website and explained where we could find it. They asked if we wished to be connected to a sales representative to get a quote, and we declined. The representative asked if we were sure and we said we would call back or request a quote through the website. They then thanked us for calling and we hung up.
The representative was polite and cordial and got us our answer quickly. TriNet customer service agents can be reached M-F from 6:00am and midnight EST.
Although email support is only reserved for TriNet customers, we decided to try filling out the online form to submit a test quote inquiry.
Once we filled in our information, we were redirected to a landing page and encouraged to review the information on the TriNet website:
Overall, TriNet’s services offer advantages and drawbacks, as detailed below.
TriNet Group, Inc. is an American cloud-based services provider that specializes in offerings for SMEs and focuses on partnering with organizations with three to 2,500 employees.
The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Dublin, California. The President and CEO is Burton Goldfield. In 2017, TriNet ranked among the US’ 100 fastest-growing companies, according to Fortune. TriNet’s 2021 revenue was about $4.5 billion.
Like TriNet, ADP’s payroll services are priced by quote only and seem to be on par with TriNet. ADP is not a PEO, but it is an established industry veteran with an A+ rating with the BBB and low customer review score.
The Paychex Flex payroll services are also priced by quote only and offer many of the same features as TriNet. Like ADP, Paychex has an A+ rating with the BBB and low customer review score. It is not a full-service PEO.
Gusto has three plans priced at a monthly rate plus per-employee fees. Gusto is known for payroll solutions, while TriNet is a full-service PEO. Gusto also has an F rating with the BBB.
We take our responsibilities seriously. We understand that countless entrepreneurs, and business owners, rely on our judgments and insights, particularly when it comes to creating their business.
As a result, our writers do their utmost to gain a comprehensive understanding of the services offered and the actual customer experience. In this case, we:
Thanks to this full immersion in the actual customer experience, our reviewer and team are able to provide the most complete and insightful review of TriNet’s payroll services.
TriNet offers a full suite of HR solutions with plenty of features in all key areas, including payroll, hiring, and benefits administration. While we do wish pricing was a bit more transparent, it makes sense that a sales representative would need to understand your business and desired services before putting together a proposal.
Keep in mind that, unlike some of the other self-service payroll providers and software solutions, TriNet is a PEO, meaning it’s a full-service solution for companies looking to completely outsource their payroll and HR functions.
TriNet’s website is comprehensive and fairly easy to navigate, but you’ll need a customer service rep to understand how their services and pricing work. Overall, we recommend TriNet for businesses looking to fully outsource payroll processing.
TriNet is a full-service professional employer organization (PEO). When you choose TriNet for your business payroll processing, the entire process will be handled for you so you can focus on other important tasks. TriNet also has a sophisticated mobile app so you can monitor all of your payroll services from anywhere.
TriNet charges a flat fee per-employee-per-month (PEPM) basis. They also mention that most of their contracts offer flexible terms without a long-term agreement. To obtain specific pricing for your business, you will need to request a quote from their sales team.
TriNet’s full-service payroll processing solutions handle employee payment, payroll tax administration, and time keeping and tracking capabilities. Additionally, employers and employees can access important payroll information through the TriNet mobile app.
TriNet offers a cutting-edge applicant tracking system that organizes candidates’ information and streamlines your recruiting process. They also offer assistance with managing work visas to help simplify the process of hiring and retaining international employees.
TriNet offers a robust training platform with over 500 courses and also provides compensation assistance, with which companies can create detailed compensation statements for each employee.
TriNet offers access to health and retirement coverage as well as additional benefits like critical accident and illness policies, access to auto and home policies, and commuter benefits. TriNet works with multiple health insurance carriers and group benefits include health, dental, vision and retirement plans offered through industry leaders.