Our star rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
Rippling is one of the most popular software solutions that uniquely combines HR, IT and finance. In this review of Rippling, discover why the software suite continues to rank high and separates itself from its pack of competitors.
What is Rippling?
Rippling is highly automated cloud-based software that allows organizations to manage their workforces’ payroll, benefits, expenses, devices, apps and more. This well-regarded software solution differentiates itself from the competition by combining HR, IT and finance all in one unified workforce management platform, which is centralized under a main dashboard (Figure A).
Rippling is used to do fast onboarding, manage payrolls and benefits in the U.S. and globally and run centralized employee databases. Its security features are robust; it can provide real-time activity monitoring of workers; and it integrates third-party applications and services in just a few clicks. Rippling can manage more than 2,000 employees, and users can scale rapidly.
Global payroll management
The global payroll management features and capabilities of Rippling are some of its greatest advantages. The platform can manage thousands of remote workers, regardless of where they are located. Processing payroll for employees across the globe can be done in a matter of minutes and with just a few clicks (Figure B).
Rippling’s data synchronization feature is the power behind payroll automation. It can track hourly work and PTO, compliance, wage and salary information reports, as well as do tax computations and much more. If you use QuickBooks and NetSuite ERP, you can also integrate them with Rippling.
Employee benefits administration and health insurance
Rippling’s benefit management is comprehensive, bringing health insurance, 401k and more information into one system. Furthermore, benefits are fully automated; once you onboard a worker, the person will automatically receive an invitation to choose their own coverage plan. Tax, insurance and other deductions are also automated.
You can enroll new hires, update deductions and administer COBRA, plus get quotes and compare and enroll in more than 4,000 benefits plans from the nation’s leading carriers, including Aetna, Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield (Figure C).
Rippling users love the customer support. Also, Rippling provides a wide array of training and other learning materials.
Global workforce management
The main differentiator between Rippling and its main competitors is its holistic approach to workforce management. Companies can hire, pay and centralize their talent in one place. Every worker will get paid in their own currency and receive comprehensive IT and HR support.
Companies can automate compliance to meet local laws and customize policy by country. Additionally, users can create unified reports pulling data from the platform and third-party systems.
Rippling can manage and integrate third-party apps, as well as seamlessly track and monitor employees’ apps, devices, data and security — no matter where they are — in one unified system (Figure D).
To mitigate cybersecurity threats, the company monitors devices, deploys systems, enforces security rules, detects threats in real-time and tracks shipping and inventory.
Another welcome feature is the learning management program that Rippling provides to train your employees, helping them grow professionally. Learning management has a robust library of of more than 1,000 pre-built courses—including sexual harassment, cybersecurity, and HIPAA training.
Rippling lets organizations run surveys to better understand their talent and gain insights on their teams.
Latest Rippling features
In October last year, Rippling introduced Rippling Global, which added comprehensive tools for companies working with international workers. As of March 2023, the company continues to refine those features to streamline global payroll, compliance, tax, HR, hiring and onboarding.
The new additions enable companies to include bonuses and commissions in pay runs as well as one-off items, like taxable employee stock options exercises. Each employee is paid in their local currency. Rippling states that hiring global talent can be done on the platform in 90 seconds through its native employer of record service. This feature also works for companies that haven’t set up entities in a particular country.
In March 2023, Rippling added another product, Comprehensive + Rippling. The product is designed for compensation reviews without a single spreadsheet. To avoid time-consuming compensation review processes — complicated formulas, unconnected workbooks or manually sending out individual spreadsheets and documents to various recipients — Rippling’s integration with Comprehensive turns to full automation.
Rippling’s main benefit is that it can manage HR, IT and finance in one suite, which leads to numerous benefits.
- This prevents teams from internally migrating data from one platform to the other.
- It removes many obstacles of multiple platforms such as data duplications, consistency, irregularities and confusion.
- This saves resources, time and costs because HR teams can manage the entire lifecycle of an employee from hiring to onboarding and termination.
Many leading software platforms are very complex to manage, but Rippling does an excellent job at balancing performance with integration and accessibility. By designing intuitive, user-friendly dashboards and guides, not everyone in your team needs to be an IT expert or a data scientist to manage Rippling.
With Rippling’s powerful automation tools, you will only need to enter data in some instances; after that, the system will “ripple” the information throughout the platform, placing it where needed. Rippling also guides users with automated step-by-step processes as they fill in information to set up payroll, 401k, health insurance, other benefits and more.
IT management integration
Technology has become business-critical for almost every sector. As hybrid work became the norm and new endpoints appeared by thousands, managing workforces requires the talent of both HR, finance, and IT. Blending these three key sectors is one of the biggest strengths that Rippling provides. Rippling unifies its HR Cloud, IT Cloud, Finance Cloud to be accessed through the main dashboard, creating a holistic solution and one place to manage it all.
Customizable and scalable
No matter your company size or industry sector, Rippling can adapt and grow. Users can seamlessly scale from two employees to thousands while customizing profile inputs, reports and dashboards.
Payroll, tax, terminations and talent management can be extremely complex to administer and set up; Rippling approaches these processes with step-by-step guides that allow a company to set its own preferences. Additionally, smaller organizations can skip the more complex setup configuration steps reserved for large companies.
Rippling is not the cheapest solution on the market. Most of its pricing plans are charged on a monthly basis per employee, and the cost can quickly add up when companies have hundreds or thousands of workers. However, the solutions you get for the cost are more integral than those offered by the competition.
No free trial
It’s useful to take new software out for a spin before investing in it. Rippling does not offer a free trial, though you can request a 30-minute demo with an expert. Most of Rippling’s competitors offer free trials and many businesses, especially small ones, benefit from this type of model.
A steep learning curve
Rippling requires no technical knowledge, coding, or advanced computing skills. Although it is intuitive and user-friendly, users may be overwhelmed by the platform’s overabundance of tools and dashboards. Be prepared that it may take a while for your team to leverage all the functionalities of Rippling.
Rippling automation wizards are handy, but they do tend to produce significantly extensive to-do lists and tasks. The automation process will ask your team numerous questions, especially during the initial stages of operations.
Rippling starts at $8 a month for every user. Each HR and IT product (Payroll, Benefits, Device Management, etc.) can be purchased separately, alongside the core required Rippling Unity Platform. Each HR and IT product (e.g. Payroll, Benefits, Device Management) can be purchased separately with the core Rippling Unity Platform, therefore every company can create its own plan.
Compared to its competition, Rippling is $2-$3 more expensive per user, but Rippling does not require a monthly fee in addition to the per user fee. Plus, the company offers additional integral features that competitors do not and goes beyond the singular functionality of payroll management. Some additional Rippling products may be included with monthly base fees. Rippling products include the Rippling Unity Platform, and the HR Cloud, IT Cloud, and Finance Cloud offerings are sold separately.
Rippling vs. its top competitors
Rippling competes with Gusto and OnPay in addition to other similar products, though Rippling is the only company of the three solutions that offers a combination of HR, IT and finance features. This table compares pricing and key features of Rippling, Gusto and OnPay.
Rippling vs. Gusto vs. OnPay: Feature and pricing comparison chart
|Price||Starts $8/month per user||$40/month plus $6/user||$40/month plus $6/user|
|Tax filing and payment||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Company size||Small, medium or large||Small, medium or large||Recommended for small enterprises|
|Tax filing and payment||Yes||Yes||Yes, though may request additional information|
|Time attendance||Yes||Yes||Yes, through integration of third-party apps|
|Third-party integrations||Yes||Yes, though limited||Yes, though limited|
|IT and finance||Yes||No||No|
|Native performance management||No||Yes, on high-tier plans||No|
|Health insurance coverage||All U.S. states||All U.S. states||All U.S. states|
|Direct deposit||Yes||Yes, next day||Yes, within 4 days|
|Skilling and learning||Yes||Yes, through third-party app integration||No|
|Applicant tracking system||Yes||Yes, through third-party app integration||No|
|IT remote device management and security||Yes||No||No|
This review is based on my personal experience using software in a business environment. Additionally, it includes information and user reviews from Gartner Peer Insights, Forbes, Finance Online review for Business and other aggregated review sources.
To calculate our star rating for Rippling, we evaluated the software’s strengths in categories like pricing, features, ease of use and customer service. Each category was weighted differently with payroll/HR features weighted the highest followed by (in order) pricing, ease of use and customer service.