Want a copy of our Guide to the Best Payroll in Canada? Download the full 45-page guide, including our handy comparison chart, by clicking here.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that the right software is not only a major time-saver, but also a key part of achieving business success. This is especially true when it comes to payroll and HR software, which can help you manage your employees with ease. The only tricky part is finding an integrated payroll and HR solution that fits your specific business needs.
To aid you in your hunt for an integrated payroll and HR software, we’ve conducted a head-to-head comparison of two popular providers: Knit and Bamboo HR. To find out how they compare, we’ll look at Knit vs Bamboo HR on the basis of software, payroll features, HR and benefits, customer service, and cost.
Note: You might have noticed we’re writing about the difference between our service and someone else’s. We’ve done our best to give them a fair shake because we want you to make an informed decision. That said, we think we offer the best payroll service in Canada. Want to give Knit a try? Find out how to get started here.
Knit vs Bamboo HR: An Overview
When searching for a new payroll and HR provider, it’s important to consider the software itself and whether it fits your business needs.
Both Knit and Bamboo HR are cloud-based programs. This means that instead of storing information on a single computer, information is stored over the Internet—much like online banking. Most business owners prefer to use a cloud-based solution because it means that they can access payroll or employee information from virtually anywhere, at any time, as long as there is an Internet connection. Bamboo HR also offers the benefit of a mobile app that allows administrators to take the software with them.
Additionally, it is important to consider the overall user experience when choosing a new software. Both Knit and Bamboo HR are relatively new companies, which means that both have created sleek, modern user interfaces. According to online reviews, both Knit and Bamboo HR are described as user-friendly and intuitive, meaning the platforms are popular among both administrators and employees. Both companies also offer demos of their platforms, allowing you to see the interface for yourself before making a decision.
While both Knit and Bamboo HR support payroll in Canada, it is tough to compare the two platforms directly. This is because Knit boasts its own payroll platform, while Bamboo HR outsources all Canadian payroll. As a result, Bamboo HR’s payroll features are dependent upon a third-party payroll provider, which syncs with the Bamboo HR platform.
In contrast, Knit’s primary product is its payroll system. Unlike some of the other payroll providers on the market, Knit is designed to handle everything from very straightforward, to more complex payrolls—something that is appreciated by both small businesses and accountants running payroll for their clients. This means that Knit supports some less common functions such as multiple pay groups, off-cycle pay runs, automated WSIB remittances, and the ability to pay third-party payees such as RRSP management companies. Knit also offers some “nice to have” payroll features like email reminders to process payroll, e-stubs for employees, and complimentary ROEs and T4s. Finally, Knit also boasts a self-service employee portal that allows employees to access their paystubs, T4s, ROEs, and more, all without the need to contact an administrator—a time-saver for both employees and employers.
HR & Benefits
As mentioned, many entrepreneurs understand that keeping payroll, HR, and benefits in one place can be a great way to save time and money on back-office administration. As a result, it’s important to consider the full suite of services available when choosing a new HCM system.
While Knit specializes in payroll, Bamboo HR’s main product is its HR software, which was specially created for small and medium-sized businesses. BambooHR is designed to automate many of the most tedious HR tasks such as onboarding, managing PTO, tracking performance, and coordinating peer reviews. In addition to these features, Bamboo HR also goes a step further to aid in the recruitment process with various applicant tracking features. However, some user reviews have pointed out that Bamboo HR is not as flexible as some of the other HR options on the market and there are limited options when it comes to integrations.
When it comes to HR, Knit does not offer nearly the same breadth of HR services that Bamboo HR does. However, Knit has spent a great deal of time refining its HR features to cover the needs of most small to medium-sized businesses. Some of Knit’s standout HR features include a comprehensive employee database, e-signatures for documents, employee performance reviews, employee self-onboarding, and PTO tracking. All of this information is synced with Knit’s payroll platform for a seamless flow of employee data—no additional data entry required.
Whether it’s a problem with payroll or HR, you need to be able to count on quality customer service when a software issue arrises. As a result, it’s important to learn more about a company’s customer service before signing up with a new software provider.
When it comes to customer support, Bamboo HR is often praised for its hands-on implementation process and robust support system. The company offers live email support to all customers, however, phone support is only available to those who purchase an Advantage package. It’s also important to note that Bamboo HR’s support team is unable to directly address payroll issues in Canada, as Bamboo HR's payroll services are outsourced.
In contrast to Bamboo HR, Knit over live support via phone or email to all customers, regardless of which pricing package they have signed up for. This support is provided by a Toronto-based team of in-house payroll experts, including licensed accountants and bookkeepers. Knit also boasts an extensive library of support documents and videos that can guide users through most FAQs associated with payroll and HR.
Even if you’ve narrowed down your software choices, you can’t make a final decision until you’ve (literally) factored cost into the equation.
Unfortunately, Bamboo HR does not make its pricing publically available to prospective customers. Instead, the company provides a list of all the features includes in its Essentials package vs all the features includes in its pricier Advantage package. In order to receive a quote for these packages, you will have to contract the Bamboo HR sales team—something that not all business owners have time for.
On the other hand, Knit makes its pricing publicly available on its website. Knit’s payroll and a lite version of its HR platform are available for $39/month + $4/employee. For payroll and the full HR suite, the price is $39/month + $6/employee. These prices include unlimited pay runs, unlimited direct deposit, and unlimited support. This transparent pricing structure is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses better gauge their costs before scheduling a demo of a software.
The Bottom Line
When it comes down to it, Bamboo HR and Knit fill two very different needs, for two very different markets.
Bamboo HR is primarily an HR software that handles everything from recruitment, to performance. However, Bamboo HR is an American company that lacks integrated payroll services in Canada. This means that Canadian customers will have to use a third-party or a different provider for payroll. Consequently, Bamboo HR is best suited for US-based companies in need of comprehensive HR tools.
In contrast, Knit is a united payroll and HR software. This means that all employee information and payroll is housed in the same platform, eliminating the need for additional data entry. As Knit is based out of Toronto, Canada, the software is ideal for any Canadian business with 100 employees or fewer, or accountants and bookkeepers running payroll for small business clients.
To find out how Knit stacks up against other payroll providers, read our full Guide to the Best Payroll Software in Canada.