Just a few years ago, the idea of an integrated payroll and HR solution would have seemed unnecessary. However today, many businesses understand the benefits of bringing payroll and HR under one roof. The only tricky part is finding the right provider for your specific business needs.
To make the process of choosing a new payroll provider a little easier, we’ve conducted a head-to-head comparison of Ultimate Software’s UltiPro and Knit Payroll. To find out how they compare, we’ll look at Knit vs UltiPro on the basis of software, payroll features, HR and benefits, customer service, and cost.
Looking for more options? Download our free 2020 Guide to the Best Payroll Software Solutions in Canada.
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 UltiPro: An Overview
|Cost||Starting at $39 + $4/employee per month||Pricing varies|
|Option to Pay by Non-Direct Deposit||✔||✔|
|Payday Emails to Employees||✔||✔|
|Pay Run Preview||✔||✔|
|The Provider Files ROEs and T4s||✔||✔|
|Global Payroll Integration||✘||✔|
|Off-Cycle Pay Runs||
|The Provider Automatically Remits to CRA||✔||✔|
|Can Pay Contractors
||✔ (T5018s yes, T4As no)||✔|
|QuickBooks Online Integration
When searching for an all-in-one payroll and HR platform, it’s important to look at the software itself and whether it's suited to your specific business needs.
Ultimate Software’s UltiPro is a comprehensive payroll, HR, and talent management software that allows you to manage all your employee data across your entire workforce. However, the payroll functionality is only available on the UltiPro Enterprise version of the software and UltiPro has long been resistant to unbundling its services to provide stand-alone payroll. This means that only companies that require a full HCM solution would use UltiPro’s payroll software. As a result, UltiPro is largely aimed at multinational enterprises with 1,000+ employees. It’s also important to note that with software this robust, there may be a steep learning curve for both administrators and employees.
On the other hand, Knit is a unified HR, payroll, and benefits platform, with a heavy emphasis on payroll services. This means that unlike UltiPro, Knit can be used by companies simply looking for a payroll provider or those looking for a more comprehensive payroll and HR platform. This structure makes Knit an ideal software for companies with anywhere between 1 to 100 employees. With a smaller list of core features, Knit’s user experience is more intuitive and easier to navigate.
Once you have all your software bases covered, it's time to consider how a platform actually handles payroll and whether it can meet your specific payroll needs.
As mentioned above, UltiPro is a comprehensive payroll and HCM solution for enterprise companies, which means that the platform is capable of handling everything from very straightforward, to more complex payroll-related calculations. Unlike some of the more basic payroll options on the market, UltiPro can handle unique payroll situations such as overtime pay, garnishments, makeup pay, and more. The platform also supports payroll tracking, gross-to-net calculations, off-cycle payrolls, and voided cheques. Many user reviews also praise the platform’s Payroll Gateway, which is a one-click access point that allows administrators to view all of an organization’s payroll data. The UltiPro platform also includes self-service employee portals that allows employees to access their pay information.
Like UltiPro, Knit also supports both straightforward and more complex payrolls. However, Knit does lack some of UltiPro’s more niche features because Knit is primarily designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. While Knit may not support multiple deposit accounts or wage garnishments, Knit does offer a number of advanced payroll features such as unlimited pay groups and cycles, unlimited income types, multiple pay rates, and auto-run for all salaried payroll. Unlike UltiPro, Knit also boasts a number of payroll features that are specifically designed for accountants and bookkeepers who run payroll for their clients. These features include a dedicated accountant dashboard, employee self-onboarding, automated e-stubs, and more.
HR & Benefits
However, for many businesses, payroll is simply one aspect of day-to-day back-office administration. Indeed, today’s modern businesses are often looking for a software that can “do it all,” and handle everything from hiring, to HR.
UltiPro was specifically designed as an all-in-one system that “unites all aspects of HR, payroll, and talent management in one comprehensive cloud solution.” Because UltiPro is designed for enterprise businesses of 1,000+ employees, the platform aims to provide end-to-end HCM functions, so you can manage employees from the recruitment stage, all the way to retirement. The platform also supports employee on-boarding, career development, performance, and succession management, making it the ideal tool for managing employee life cycles. Of course, many companies with 200 or fewer employees will not have a need for such a broad scope of services and would be unlikely to justify the cost of paying for features that would likely go unused.
In contrast to UltiPro’s extensive list of features, Knit is designed to bring payroll, HR, and benefits under one roof. This structure is better suited to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses who have a need for a more basic HCM system. Though less comprehensive than UltiPro, Knit’s HR module is well-developed and includes many advanced features such as new hire self-onboarding, e-sign capabilities, a cloud document repository, performance reviews, PTO tracking, and more. In terms of benefits management, Knit’s basic plan includes a complimentary plan audit and access to licensed benefits advisors, while Knit’s full-service plan supports multiple plan management and third-party administration.
When it comes to time-sensitive processes such as payroll and HR, support is an important consideration when choosing a new provider.
As an enterprise-level software, UltiPro has extensive support coverage. The company prides itself on offering 24/7, multi-tier, SCP-certified product support. UltiPro also provides support in French, English, and Spanish, making it accessible to a wide user base. Of course, the downside to a large support team is that support is often less personalized and customers may have to navigate several support channels in order to receive help with an issue.
Though Knit’s support team is not nearly as big as UltiPro’s, Knit’s Toronto-based customer service team is made up of trained payroll specialists who are equipped to handle virtually any issue. Because the payroll support team is smaller, users often receive personalized support from representatives who are familiar with their account. Knit also offers both phone and email support, as well as an extensive library of help documents to address common issues.
After comparing different features and gauging customer support, the final consideration for choosing a new payroll provider is cost.
Like many of the other enterprise-level payroll providers, UltiPro does not make its pricing publically available. Instead, the company will provide a quote for subscription pricing based on the upon the number of employees, functionality requirements, services added, and customer needs. this This means that no broad indication of cost is available without engaging with the Ultimate sales team. For some companies—especially those with less than 200 employees—it may not be worth going through the rigamarole of a sales pitch in order to receive a pricing estimate.
In contrast, Knit makes its pricing available publicly on its website. For complete payroll and most of the HR tools, Knit charges $39, plus $4 per employee per month. For payroll and the full HR suite, Knit charges $39, plus $6 per employee per month. This pricing is all-inclusive, which means that Knit charges no additional fees for off-cycle pay runs, direct deposit, or dedicated support. Knit’s pricing also includes access to HR software, which can be a major bonus for small businesses without a dedicated HR professional. It’s also important to note that Knit offers a discounted price to bookkeepers and accountants, with further pricing reductions for referrals.
The Bottom Line
While both Knit and Ultimate Software offer united payroll, HR, and benefits management, the two providers are aimed at very different types of users.
As previously mentioned, UltiPro is an extensive HCM solution that provides end-to-end payroll, benefits, HR, and talent management functions. Because of the company’s resistance to unbundling its services, the platform is designed for companies with 1,000+ employees who have a need for UltiPro’s full suite of services. Indeed, some of UltiPro’s customers include major corporations such as Culligan International, Subway restaurants, Sony Music Entertainment, and Nikon Inc..
On the other hand, Knit does not offer such an extensive list of services and it can serve as a stand-alone payroll service for companies that may not have a need for HR or benefits management. Indeed, Knit is best suited to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses with 100 or fewer employees, as well as accountants and bookkeepers who run payroll for small businesses.
To find out how Knit stacks up against other payroll providers, read our full Guide to the Best Payroll Software in Canada.
By Katherine Pendrill on Sep. 4, 2019