I have now had Ascentis HR for 2 months, and Payroll for a month, and I can sum my experience up in 4 words:
Thank goodness for Ascentis.
We are a small to medium company with the unique feature of being made up of multiple FEINs. We are also on an aggressive growth plan in terms of expansion. Although the company has been around for more than 30 years, it's only been in the last 5 it's gone from a small family business to a regional (soon to be national) distributor.
When I took on the position with this company to build a HR department and functions, one of the task requirements/ requests from the owner was to bring payroll inhouse within the first year. Payroll was being managed by the accountants, and it was neither cost-effective or timely; corrections were always a challenge. The existing HR software, Sage, was full of bugs and not managing tasks effectively. Much of the historical data was inaccurate, as well.
Literally, I was printing out time punch reports, manually entering onto a spreadsheet, and at the end of the paycycle emailing it to the accountant with all changes/corrections the very next business day. And then sending someone an hour away to pick up checks. And same for corrections. Not anymore.
I did quite a bit of research early on for the right system. The multiple FEINs made some systems much more expensive. And even though I'm in a culture that has been embracing change, I knew doing everything at once would create shock waves. Additionally, the projected growth made it so easy, expandability was a absolute necessity. Finally, the system would need to be easy enough and intuitive enough to teach a Vice President to be an emergency backup.
Selection of Ascentis was easy, actually. I asked lots of questions, and the response was usually either "oh, yes, of course, this is how we do that...." or "that does sound a little different, let me check" followed by "ok, this is how we can do that for you...". Things fit nicely.
The implementation team has been wonderful. They made it easy, making sure I knew what they needed and when, and kept me updated on their statuses as well. I unexpectedly had to move up one of my timelines as my previous system had a different renewal date than I was originally told. It took two months to implement HR, and 3 to do Payroll, which in terms of transition is lightning speed. This is particularly true as I had other major projects going at the same time. Christy, Jean, Kimberly and the rest have been great about letting me mess around with it before going live, and been there to answer the phone as my safety net as I spend time double and triple checking things when I went live. We have had a few minor tech problems, and Jack solved them quickly and easily.
Training was almost too much. There are videos, live demo, handbooks, and the team calls. They have been great about letting me do that part at my own pace.
Once piece of advice: if you have more than one location, use the tax service. Payroll does not print coupons and is a little less helpful with the who-when part (although the related reports are awesome.)
I have now had two zero-error payrolls; I had to make up mistakes to learn how to do that piece! We are likely adding Tax very soon, and anticipate adding Time later this year. We are eventually going to add self service.
Ascentis has wonderful reports, and has cut the time involved significantly. It's less expensive, and just so easy to use. Even the Payroll person at the accountant who did it before is jealous.
Long-term user of HR Office
We've used HR Office for about 20 years now -- started out with the in-house Access version and have used the .asp version since about 2001/2002.
I like that it's cloud-based, but most importantly for us, it offers employee self-service for PTO requests and information updates. The key reason we've stayed with this system is that it provides automatic calculations of paid time off based on a formula we set up, automatically changing accruals on employee anniversary dates. It also allows us to easily calculate PTO that will be earned through the end of the fiscal year since we allow staff to schedule (and generally use) PTO in advance of accrual. The calculations take into consideration any accrual rate changes and adjusts out any dates already scheduled. There are other HR solutions with a simpler interface, but this feature was a deal-breaker for us. The PTO request workflows can allow for more than one approval level and sends email alerts. Support has generally been very good in all the years I've used it.
We only have 30 staff members, but years ago, they implemented a rate based on a minimum of 50 users. We recently implemented the self service to manage PTO requests and overall, we're thrilled to have made that move (we have multi-tiered approvals, which they didn't have in the past). I would really like to have more customizable fields in the request form to prompt the user for key information the supervisor needs to make an approval decision. The interface is sometimes very slow to load for the HR admin (it's a remote desktop configuration). Some of it's not intuitive -- when setting up a new employee and their PTO accrual, we get a prompt that the person is not employed 40 hours (part of our PTO calculation criteria), but rather than the person's hours worked being in the main employee tabs, you have to click out and go to a completely separate area to indicate that they are full time.
We have used the system for multiple business functions from open enrollment to employee reviews, etc. Each module has its own support, and once our employees learned the system, we don't field many questions. The system is reliable, and our employees trust the components (Timekeeper, LMS, Payroll, etc.).
The reporting aspect is easy to use, and uploading documents is simple. We've built many customized "employee tabs" to be able to run customized reports, and are always working to improve our way of using the system to make our lives easier.
User friendly, from both a User and an Admin. point of view. The level of customer service is amazing, and the system is easy to customize!
We haven't had any "issues", but as I need to report what we like least about the system is required, I would say that we liked the "Performance Management" function the least. We used it for several years, but moved to creating a customized section where we could govern the questions and simplify the performance appraisal process. The Ascentis function offered wasn't "bad", but we wanted to minimize the process, so we were able to do so.
Ascentis fills a niche that has a vacuum but is not complete
What took it over the top with poor satisfaction is that they tried to be good partners but as of late they just throw in the towel and want money.
Ascentis does the benefits, applicants and other HR functions on a basic level. Let me stress basic level.
If you want any integrations or some of the complexities when have beyond 100 employees, would suggest not utilizing Ascentis. Coupled with the added burden of the 1095-c and the need to manually update various records because Ascentis has software issues, it is disappointing.
We had always outsourced our HR and payroll, and as a rapidly growing company with more offices opening around the country, we were outgrowing the functionality of the third party HR firm; not to mention the enormous costs of their service fees, inflated benefit premiums, and customer service issues.
During my research of in-house support software, Ascentis stood out for its completeness. There is a lot of software that will do HR, or payroll, or timekeeping, but I wanted something that was already built to work and flow together. I was looking for something that would provide a high level of detail in data storage and maintenance, as well as be customizable for the way we already operate. Ascentis definitely provides all of that, and has a good user interface as well. I appreciate how comprehensive it is - I'm happy that it handles our taxes as well as manages data flow to our benefits carriers through Carrier Connect.
We began implementation in July 2012 and currently we use Time, Self-Service v 8.4, HR v 8.5, and Payroll 4.2.1. Since we started, there have already been big upgrades to Self Service and HR that has resolved some of the issues I was having. We have done an open enrollment already using the Self-Service, which creates a walk-through wizard for employees that makes the process of learning about company benefits and signing up for them really easy. The housing of the benefits structures is detailed and I was able to automatically build in nearly all the rules or restrictions that were associated with our plans.
Implementation went smoothly overall - it was a daunting task but the support is terrific. Everyone I've talked to in all the software components are very available and patient, and extremely responsive. This was one of the most important considerations for me. This being our first time handling HR and payroll in-house, I knew we needed to work with a company that we could have a personal relationship with, and not be lost. I also appreciate the fact that the software is continually upgrading and improving. I do not expect anything to be perfect; it is more important to me that they are working to improve and are responsive. Any issues I've had, they have received thoughtfully and log the suggestions/needs to submit for potential changes.
I'm extremely happy with the product and the company and look forward to continuing working with them.
Good experience, has made my work load easier to handle and saved a lot of time.
I think this product is great. Our company is uniquely structure and has difficulty with systems fitting our needs. Ascentis gives us control to customize the system to how we need it, the only draw back is understanding the details on how things flow and what changes effect other areas.
The best part about Ascentis is the versatility and customization. Everything flows together so it cuts down on duplicate work. The reporting is great and I like how we can basically create any report we need.
Sometimes it is hard to determine what flows to what and how certain things / changes effect other parts of the system. Can be complicated to figure out. Deadlines for Quarterly and annual filings are hard to meet.
I like that this software has a function that you can view everything at once. You can see your time offs and you current clock in on the same screen. It is relativity easy to use and it has book keeping function that allow pay checks to be issued easier than other software.
That is sometimes have different leave amounts on the different screens without telling you why.
Overall quite pleased with Ascentis
I really do like the Ascentis system and would highly recommend it because it offers a lot of functionality and great value for a mid size employer. Many similar systems are often priced significantly higher or out of reach.
The Ascentis payroll and HR systems offer a lot of functionality and value for the money. Their customer service is very good. It's a very good system for a mid size employer group.
It is not a single sign on system and the HR changes don't automatically update in Payroll. Once changes are made in HR you have to go in to Payroll and individually approve the changes. While it is a good feature as a last step to double check your changes, it can also be time consuming depending upon the amount of changes to be approved. Also, it is easy to forget to update the change in Payroll if you get busy or distracted.
Great System to Utilize
Good system, Can use some work
So far i think it is a good system for the most part but it needa some work definitely
I think it is a great system to use for the most part, everything is easy to understand once you get used to how things work
Customer service is not the best. I just feel like if i send an email to support ot takes entirely too long to get assistance. Also any time we want to change something, they charge you for every little thing
Ascentis is the best!
One of the things that I was looking for was an HR system that would link to the Payroll system so I wouldn’t have to do dual entries. This system provided that for me. The other tabs we have added on the HR side is Education (degrees held) and Salary survey information, so this has come in handy for requests that come up. It also makes it much easier for the EEOC reporting along with the Worker’s Compensation reports because data can be entered there too.
The Employee Self-Service tool through Ascentis is very clean and uncluttered compared to other systems. I had another vendor do a presentation for me, and the screen itself looked way too overwhelming. I didn’t want to make it too difficult to use for both the managers and the employees. Since we have rolled out the Self-Service tool, my employees love it! They are so excited about the features and how much they can access for their own screens. In fact, we used the Open Enrollment feature so that the employees could go into this system to make changes for the upcoming year. The employees can also access their W-2 forms at any time during the year.
I like everything: HR, Payroll, Timekeeping, Carrier Connect, and the Employee Self-Service tool.
There is nothing that I would change about Ascentis.
Moving to Ascentis Was the Best Decision We Made for our Organization
I have never worked with a vendor who was so organized and supportive of us reaching our goals. There was never a gap when we needed help--calls and emails are always returned promptly. They are a great organization that employees top-notch experts who are there to help you. Wish other organization ran this smoothly.
The implementation process is so well-planned. You have a team of experts supporting you for each module and they really work with you to learn and get through building. They also hold you accountable for your "homework assignments" to keep you on-track for your go-live date. This was helpful to us because we are so busy but they held our feet to the fire with deadlines (and we met our go-live date with ease). Our employees like the easy to use system and we have received much positive feedback since rolling out.
Needing to use a Remote Desktop to access the back-end for set up and maintenance is cumbersome. I had to invest in a second monitor to make it easier. The end-user's interface (Employee Self Service) is 100% web-based, so no issues there. This is truly my only complaint. Everything else they said they system could do really is possible. They are honest in what they sell.
Everything you need under one roof.
Lots of integrations, great for tons of people, well managed and thoughtful design.
Employee information, comfortably managed. Useful links provided to everything you need to manage employees, or as an employee, everything you need to keep yourself on track.
Organization can be cumbersome and annoying, but it's a good problem to have. Slow, clunky load times.
We brought payroll in-house after outsourcing it for over 15 years. We were tired of having vendors add ridculous fees and for stifling our ability to make back-end changes. In addition, they made numerous mistakes in processing taxes and garnishments.
The choice to go with Ascentis was made in large part because of the incredible ability to customize it. The setup of the system (employee records, reporting, back-end) is very logical and easy to navigate.
The implementation was fantastic, and who ever says that about changing payroll systems? Our Implementation Manager, Elissa, was extremely knowledgeable, not only about Ascentis, but payroll processes in general. She was incredibly fast at responding to questions and to implementing all the data as it came in. She provided us with an action timeline outline who was responsible for each part along the way. We had our implementation complete and parallel payrolls processed AHEAD of time!!
So far we have loved the ability to run off-cycle checks, and payroll has processed without a hitch. The off-cycle paychecks alone have saved us thousands in fees we would have normally paid. We also implemented Employee Self Service for the first time and my employees love having access to all their pay information online. The few times we've needed to access the customer support team they have been incredibly responsive.
I would highly recommend Ascentis to anyone!!
Good for HR but not very user friendly
Great for posting jobs and applicant review. Very easy to use in that aspect. Keeps track of salary input and review status as well as employee longevity.
Back end of Ascentis is not very user friendly at all for mass communication and employee portal information unless you are very experienced in HTML format.
We switched from an old-fashioned punch clock to this software a couple of years ago
We transitioned a few months ago. The experience was fantastic!! Awesome support and training.
I would definitely recommend Ascentis to anyone ... large or small company. Our transition to Ascentis was well supported and has opened our processes up to today's world.
Ascentis is very user friendly. I'm still getting familiar with a lot of the features but I have not found anything to this point that is overly challenging or difficult to get understand. I like the way HR and Payroll sync, which eliminates double entry. And our supervisors love the access to their crews through Self Service
The reporting features are somewhat challenging only because I'm still getting used to them. There are a lot of selections and I'm still finding my pathways
Great program for timekeeping
I have always been pleased with Ascentis for timekeeping. I know exactly how to use the features and have kept my hours tracked through this software.
I haven't had any problems until this point! We only use Ascentis to keep track of hours worked and it works well
Great HRIS system
Ascentis was our HRIS system several years ago and it was a great way to keep all of our employee data. It was very customizable and the help desk was great!
Unfortunately the remote desktop style was not for us and we moved to a cloud based HRIS system. But I do miss the flexibility of HRO.
The easy of use is great. The implementation team is fantastic! Our company experience has been great. We transitioned to several modules that included: HR, Payroll, Time, Recruiting/Onboarding, Performance Management and Learning. Each team lead has been responsive and has provided great support and education thru the process. Support members are extremely knowledgeable and timely.
Only concern could be working with several other systems vs. single system. We view this as both a pro and con, but the pros out weigh the con's, without a doubt.
The Switch to an HRIS System
Our company experience rapid growth over the course of two short years, and we desperately needed an HRIS system to house all of our information. There is no way we would've been able to keep up with our growth had it not been for the implementation of Ascentis HRIS and Time/Payroll.
We experienced some implementation woes, as was to be expected, but the main issue has been with the flow of our HR employee info and benefit elections flowing over accurately to Payroll and our carrier connect pieces.
Employee self-service solution works OK but has room to improve
All of your employee self-service options, from paycheck and W4 integration to benefits selection are integrated into one self-service solution.
Timecard and payroll are not integrated directly, thus we must work directly with third parties, which can create problems if there is a problem with payroll.
Everything and the Kitchen Sink
- Tons of resources
- All the functionality one could likely ever ask for
- Beautiful interface
- Works quickly and rarely has hiccups
- Will make it hard to ever leave their ecosystem because it works so well.
- A bit more costly than others but certainly still a great value