XcelHR Review

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People use professional employer organization (PEO) software to manage and streamline their employees’ payroll, human resources, benefits administration, and other related processes. This software automates and simplifies these tasks, making them less time-consuming and more efficient.

XcelHR is a comprehensive PEO software solution that provides small- and medium-sized business owners with access to powerful features. This leading software offers a range of modules to manage many different HR functions.

But how does it stack up against the competition? In this article, we take a closer look at XcelHR and assess its features, pricing structure, and more.

XcelHR logo for Crazy Egg XcelHR review

XcelHR Compared to the Best PEO Companies

At Crazy Egg, we’ve been trying and ranking business tools for a while. Each tool we review is put through rigorous tests by our team of experts, from which we determine the products that we call our Golden Eggs—the best PEO companies that set the industry standard. 

Resourcing Edge is the best PEO tool for most, thanks to its usability, customizability, and amazing features. You can contact Resourcing Edge today for a customized quote.

If you don’t have an in-house HR team, Justworks is the perfect PEO software to take those tasks off your hands. You can start for as low as $59 per month per employee today.

Growing SMBs and scaling companies use Paychex to manage payroll, benefits, and other HR operations. You can contact a Paychex representative to receive a personalized business quote today.

XcelHR, while a solid product for SMBs, didn’t quite make our top list. But it still might be a good fit for you, depending on your needs. Let’s take a closer look at where it works well and where it falls short. 

XcelHR: The Good and the Bad

All tools have elements we can’t live without and others that could use some work. When we test products, we use every feature, cross-reference our experience with customer reviews, and carefully weigh each tool’s pros and cons.

What XcelHR is Good At

Excellent Compliance Features: One of the most pressing HR tasks is compliance. Regardless of your industry, you may need to adhere to all kinds of regulations. Compliance reports with XcelHR include workplace safety inspections and audits, local and federal taxes, employee records, health and safety regulations, and more, so HR managers can rest assured that nothing slips through the cracks.

Robust Payroll Tools: Ensuring employees get paid on time is one of the HR department’s primary responsibilities. Delayed or deferred payments lead to accounting mishaps, employee turnover, and a host of other headaches. XcelHR’s payroll solutions simplify this process and make sure that payments are accurate and timely. They include direct deposit, payroll taxes, garnishment tracking, and more advanced functions like benefit tracking and paid time off (PTO).

Many HR Admin Features: Compliance just scratches the surface regarding XcelHR’s HR admin capabilities. Profit optimization, employee tax management, employee records and data maintenance, job postings, recruitment tracking—the list goes on. It’s a one-stop shop for all the HR needs of an organization, and they certainly go beyond the standard.

Wide Array of Benefits Options: XcelHR provides small businesses with access to enterprise-level benefits that they would not typically have, plus a range of nonstandard options such as car and home insurance, telehealth services, pet insurance, legal counsel, and travel/entertainment discounts for employees.

Great Small Business Support: A solid tool that does it all is exactly what a lean (or nonexistent) HR team needs. This is where XcelHR shines. XcelHR skillfully blends tailored customer experiences and adjustable service offerings, creating the ideal environment for businesses to find a solution that meets their precise needs. That way, they can rest assured they aren’t overpaying or underusing their services. Furthermore, XcelHR is an ideal ASO for businesses that don’t have the requisite employee count to become a PEO. You can take advantage of almost all the benefits of a PEO (think payroll management or compliance assistance), even if your company only has one team member!

Works for Government Contracting and Federal Compliance: XcelHR provides government contractors with the vital resources and guidance to ensure compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates. This feature is especially beneficial for companies that need to stay on top of the latest requirements in industries like healthcare, aerospace, and defense.

What XcelHR is Lacking

Few Enterprise-Level Solutions: If you have multiple HR professionals on staff, investing in XcelHR may not be required. If at least one of them is an experienced and knowledgeable Human Resources specialist with a manageable workload, they should possess all the insight necessary to handle human resources-related compliance matters and administrative duties. While you’ll still need to use HR software to streamline your internal Human Resources processes, you’ll most likely find a more “enterprise-level” HR software solution better fits your organization.

Dated User Experience: The UX of XcelHR could use some improvement. Although the interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, it lacks a certain sleekness that comes with more modern tools. It’s an ideal solution for businesses looking to quickly onboard HR software without investing too much time or money in the process, but if you’re looking for something a bit “fancier” or “cleaner,” you may want to look elsewhere.

No IRS or ESAC Certification: Unfortunately, XcelHR is not certified by the IRS or the Electronic Safety and Accountability Council (ESAC). This means that while they offer basic payroll automation features, they don’t include some of the advanced tax management capabilities found in their more expensive or robust competitors.

Lack of Mobile App Accessibility: Multi-platform accessibility is a key feature for many HR software solutions. If your employees primarily use their mobile devices for work, then XcelHR might not be the best choice as it does not have a mobile app available yet. And if you manage your HR duties on the go (as many remote small business owners do), you’ll want to look elsewhere for a more convenient solution. However, it has an App Store/Google Play app designed for iPads and other tablets, which may suffice for some organizations.

No International Payroll: XcelHR does not offer international payroll solutions, which can be a deal-breaker for companies with employees outside of the U.S. If this is an issue for you, then you’ll want to look into other HR software solutions that offer global access and support.

No Gig Economy Flexibility: XcelHR is not a good fit for businesses with gig employees or independent contractors, as their system does not offer any flexibility regarding this type of labor. You’ll need to look into other HR software solutions that provide better support and visibility if managing gig workers is a significant part of your role.

XcelHR Options and Pricing

XcelHR has two pricing models, and which one you end up going with depends on your business size and the scope of your HR requirements. XcelHR offers the option to pay a per-employee fee or percentage of your gross payroll, making its pricing customizable for each business. There is no one-size-fits-all cost associated with their services.

In general, though, XcelHR is best suited for small businesses with a few employees and straightforward HR needs. For that group of business owners, XcelHR provides benefits from major insurance companies that they wouldn’t normally have access to, which can help them source more competitive talent and attract top-level employees.

The company has many additional features, like job description writing, resume parsing, employee screening, government contractor compliance, and HR profit optimization workflows. But the buck stops there—if you have advanced HR needs, a global workforce, or existing HR infrastructure in place, you’ll need to look elsewhere for a more comprehensive HR software solution.

ASO and PEO Solutions

An Administrative Services Organization (ASO) provides administrative services such as payroll processing, employee benefits management, and compliance assistance. A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) also offers these services but goes a step further by providing access to additional resources like human resource consulting, risk management advice, legal counsel, recruitment support, and more.

Both types of organizations provide valuable services that can help streamline your internal HR processes, and many of the PEO solutions that XcelHR are also available to their PEO customers.

A comparison chart of XcelHR's PEO and ASO services

Typically, businesses that qualify for PEO services have several employees, need more comprehensive HR services, and/or require specialized compliance assistance. Companies needing basic payroll automation or prefer to outsource their HR administration might be better off using XcelHR’s ASO offerings.

Payroll and Tax Services

XcelHR’s software includes basic automated payroll services, where you can set up your business’s payroll information and submit it to the IRS for filing. This convenient feature saves you time manually submitting paperwork and helps avoid potential compliance issues.

Payroll services include payroll processing, wage garnishment management, direct deposit setup, job costing, and more. They also offer tax filing services, including W-4 administration, state withholding forms administration, quarterly 941 filings, W-2/W-3 preparation and filing, and CCPA/IRS compliance.

Three features of XcelHR's payroll and tax services: payroll setup, pay schedule accommodation, and payments for hourly and salary employees

The HR dashboard keeps a record of all payrolls and tax filings, making it easy to review and track your company’s financial health. It also integrates with QuickBooks and many other accounting software packages, allowing small business owners and HR professionals to quickly sync their financial data.

HR Management

All business owners need HR, especially if they don’t have any existing infrastructure to help them manage their employees. XcelHR offers a comprehensive HR solution with features like applicant tracking, job description creation, employee onboarding and offboarding, employee performance management, and lots of other HR functions.

XcelHR HR management landing page describing how XcelHR helps you make better strategic decisions and manage the entirety of the employee life cycle under one roof

More minor features like employee anniversary tracking and white-label training modules are also available for all plans, allowing businesses to create customized employee training plans.

As a small business owner, it’s sometimes hard to compete with larger companies’ streamlined workflows, exceptional benefits, and extensive resources. XcelHR’s management platform helps them bridge the gap.

Risk Management

Risk management becomes a critical priority if an organization operates in a regulated industry or offers hazardous materials. XcelHR’s worker’s compensation, employer liability, and health & safety management modules help businesses assess their risk levels, create comprehensive safety compliance programs, and protect themselves from potential legal liability.

A list of features offered with XcelHR's risk management services

The platform also lets organizations pay as they owe for worker’s comp premiums instead of requiring them to pay a lump sum upfront. This is great for businesses that are just starting out and don’t have the resources to cover high upfront costs.

As previously mentioned, XcelHR’s excellent safety auditing and risk management features are also available to their ASO customers, so even the smallest of businesses can use some of the best risk-management tools in their niche.

Employee Benefits

All organizations that hire full-time employees need to provide benefits packages for their employees. One of the greatest challenges for small businesses is the added cost of administering these benefits (or the lack of access to them altogether). With XcelHR, businesses can offer competitive benefits packages without having to devote extra time or resources to managing them.

Best employee benefits for small to midsize businesses: medical, dental, vision, LTD, STD, and critical illness

In addition to standard benefits like health, dental, and vision insurance, XcelHR also supports HSA administration, flexible spending accounts, dependent care accounts, commuter benefits, and more. It also leaves the door open for annual rate negotiation so small businesses can get the best deals for their employees.

Talent Acquisition

In addition to making talent acquisition easier by taking some weight off of HR teams and helping them provide competitive benefits, XcelHR also offers helpful features like job board postings and candidate sourcing. This makes it easier for businesses to find the right candidates for their open positions without paying exorbitant fees to recruiting firms or job boards.

XcelHR also makes onboarding new employees more efficient by giving them access to key information quickly, such as employee handbooks, tax forms, and other documents.

XcelHR's talent acquisition landing page explaining XcelHR's trusted measurable results and expedited hiring process

As optional add-ons, companies can opt for recruitment assistance, drug testing, prospective employee phone screening, and professional resume reviews, among a long list of other helpful services. For companies without any recruitment strategy, XcelHR can also provide support from experienced HR personnel.

Software Solutions

XcelHR has a suite of software tools that seamlessly integrate to simplify the entire HR process. With XcelHR Connect, businesses can connect their payroll, benefits, and HR data in one place, allowing them to manage all employee files quickly and easily from a single platform.

A list of features offered with XcelHR's JazzHR integration

XcelHR also partners with JazzHR, a recruitment system that helps businesses find and manage the candidates they need. Not only does JazzHR help businesses with recruitment, but it also gives them powerful applicant tracking features to keep the entire process organized.

For time tracking, Timeco makes clocking in as easy as possible—employees can clock in and out from their laptops, desktops, tablets, or mobile phones. The software also integrates with XcelHR Connect to ensure payroll is always up-to-date.

XcelHR in Summary

PEO software is used by many businesses to manage and streamline payroll, HR, benefits administration, and other related processes. If your company is looking to outsource and automate some of these tasks, XcelHR is potentially a good solution. 

If it doesn’t meet your needs, check out some of the top PEO companies available we discovered based on our research. Resourcing Edge, Justworks, and Paychex are top contenders and may be better suited to your needs.

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