BambooHR Payroll Providers: TRAX Payroll vs Gusto vs QuickBooks Online

Is your startup considering BambooHR? Interested in integrating BambooHR with a full-service payroll provider so that you don’t have to double-enter employee records, employee hours, or approved PTO?

I recently compared several providers. Here is a summary of my findings. See detailed info below.

 TraxGusto +
Gusto +
Employee RecordsNativeNative
PTO in Time Tracking
+ Import PTO from BambooHRNON/A
+ Monitor PTO AccrualYesYesYesYesYesYes
Employee Self-Service in PayrollWEB ONLYWeb/MobileWeb/MobileWEB ONLYWeb/MobileWeb/Mobile
+ Breaks??Yes??Yes
+ Time SheetYesYesYesYesYesYes
+ Track Billable TimeNONOMAYBE (QBO sync?)YesNOYes
PTO in Payroll
+ PTO from Time TrackingYesYesYes [info]YesYesYes
+ Monitor PTO AccrualYesYesYesYesYesYes
Employee Self-Service in Time TrackingWeb (Mobile?)Web (Mobile Friendly)Web (Mobile Friendly)Web (Mobile Friendly)Web (Mobile Friendly)Web (Mobile Friendly)
+ Input Tax PreferencesNOYesYesNONONO
+ View Pay Stubs and W-2YesYesYesYesYesYes
Full-Service Payroll
+ Direct DepositYesYesYesYesYesYes
+ CheckYes (Employer must print)Yes (Employer must print)Yes (Employer must print)Yes (Employer must print)Yes (Employer must print)Yes (Employer must print)
+ Tax FilingsYesYesYesYesYesYes
+ Tax PaymentsYesYesYesYesYesYes
+ Benefit PaymentsIRA - Must use their vendor or pay manuallyIRA - Must use their vendor or pay manually
Payroll Totals to BambooHRYESAPI*API*NONONO
Payroll to QBOManual (CSV Export)Yes [info]Yes [info]YesYesYes
Costs (10 employees)
+ HR$99/mo$99/mo$99/mo$99/mo$99/mo$99/mo
+ Time Tracking$30/mo$31/mo$83/moQBO Plus $40/moQBO Plus $40/mo
Nimble $31/mo
QBO Plus $40/mo
TSheets $83/mo
+ Payroll$75/mo$99/mo$99/mo$134/mo$134/mo$134/mo
+ Direct DepositsIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded
Total Costs$204/mo$229/mo$281/mo$273/mo$304/mo$356/mo

Here are our specific preferences:

  • BambooHR must send Employee Record changes to Time Tracking and Payroll systems
  • BambooHR should send Approved PTO to Time Tracking system
  • Time Tracking must have Employee Self-Service features
    • Clock-in/clock-out and record breaks
    • Input timesheet
    • Record billable time
    • Import approved PTO from BambooHR
  • Time Tracking must send Approved Time (with PTO) to Payroll
  • Payroll must have Employee Self-Service feature
    • Input tax information/preferences (for manager review/approval)
    • View W-2 and Pay Stub history
  • Payroll should also track PTO Balance (to be manually reconciled against BambooHR)
  • Payroll service must process Tax Filings and Tax Withholdings
  • Payroll service should send other deductions that vary by paycheck (e.g. IRA contributions)
  • Payroll should send Payroll Totals to BambooHR

Let’s compare these providers:

  • BambooHR + TRAX Payroll
  • BambooHR + Gusto Payroll
  • BambooHR + Quickbooks Online Payroll

BambooHR + TRAX Payroll

BambooHR currently recommends this integration (12/2016). They send employee data to TRAX. TRAX recommends using their own Time Tracking system to request/approve PTO. TRAX Time Tracking is currently web only (no mobile app). TRAX is currently the ONLY vendor who sends Payroll Totals back to BambooHR. This allows employees to view payroll chart/report history in BambooHR. The BambooHR+TRAX integration also provides BambooHR users/employees with single sign-on (SSO) into TRAX to view W-2 and Pay Stubs. TRAX does NOT offer an API.

BambooHR recommends TRAX w/ Nimble Schedule. They send Employee records to TRAX and Nimble. They send Approved PTO to Nimble. Nimble sends Approved Time Sheets to TRAX. TRAX sends Payroll Totals to BambooHR.

BambooHR + Gusto Payroll

BambooHR previously recommended this integration when Gusto Payroll was known as Zen Payroll in late 2015. Gusto does not provide Time Tracking, so we must use a 3rd party. BambooHR sends Employee records to Gusto and Nimble. Bamboo sends Approved PTO to Nimble. Nimble sends Approved Time Sheets with PTO to Gusto. Gusto does NOT send Payroll Totals back to BambooHR. Nimble has open API. Gusto has an open API. BambooHR has an open API. We could probably develop our own integration to send Payroll Totals back to BambooHR, but Gusto is not currently providing API access for new accounts.

BambooHR + Quickbooks Online Payroll w/ QBO Time Tracking

We can use these Workato integrations to sync New/Updated Employees from BambooHR to QBO. We have to manually enter Approved PTO from BambooHR into QBO Time Tracking, or we may be able to develop a custom integration to sync PTO. Be aware that QBO Time Tracking is NOT currently supported on mobile devices.

BambooHR + Quickbooks Online Payroll w/ Nimble Schedule Time Tracking

BambooHR supports/recommends sending Employee Records and Approved PTO to Nimble Schedule (details), then import the Approved Time Sheets with PTO from Nimble into QBO. Nimble has open API. The Nimble integration can NOT currently sync Employees or Jobs from QBO, so you can NOT currently input billable hours into Nimble (details). QBO does NOT provide a full Payroll API (Employee and Time Tracking records only), so Payroll Totals can NOT be sent back to BambooHR.

BambooHR + Quickbooks Online Payroll w/ TSheets Time Tracking

TSheets CAN sync Employees, Customers, Jobs, Service Items, Classes, and Payroll Items with QBO (details). TSheets has an open API. BambooHR does not list TSheets as a native integration. If we weren’t planning to sync Employees from QBO to TSheets, we could use these Workato integrations to sync Employees from BambooHR to TSheets. We couldn’t find an existing integration to send Approved PTO from BambooHR to TSheets, but both systems have an open API, so we should be able to implement this manually or via a new Workato integration.

Service Pricing (12/2016)

  • BambooHR: $100-200 setup + $99/mo base fee (includes 12 employees)
  • TRAX Payroll: $250-350 setup + $75/mo base fee (includes 10 employees)
  • Gusto Payroll: $0 setup + $39/mo base fee + $6/mo per employee
  • Quickbooks Payroll: $0 setup + $100/mo base fee + $2/mo per employee
  • Nimble Schedule: $0 setup + $3.08/mo per employee (minimum 9 employees)
  • TSheets: $0 setup + $20/mo base fee + $6.25/mo per employee

One thought on “BambooHR Payroll Providers: TRAX Payroll vs Gusto vs QuickBooks Online

  1. Thanks for the analysis. We have just implemented BambooHR and have Deputy for scheduling and time clock, and are migrating next week from QB desktop to QB online. With about 66 employees it starts to add up. Lots to think about and feel fortunate that I found your website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *