Demystifying HRIS & Payroll Pricing: PEPM vs. PEPP Subscriptions

In the realm of Human Resources, technological advancements have brought forth an array of tools that greatly simplify processes and operations. Among these tools, HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) stands tall as a beacon of change and efficiency. For many businesses, HRIS implementation is a crucial step toward streamlining HR and payroll operations. However, with such advancements come questions about costs and pricing models. 

Discussions frequently mention two common models: PEPM (Per Employee Per Month) and PEPP (Per Employee Per Pay Period) subscriptions. But what do these terms signify, and which one is right for your company? Let’s dive into these models and clarify them, so you can make an informed decision.

PEPM: A Closer Look

PEPM, or Per Employee Per Month, is a subscription model that charges businesses a set fee for every employee on a monthly basis. It’s simple and straightforward: if you have 100 employees, and your HRIS provider charges $10 PEPM, then you’ll be billed $1,000 each month.

A big advantage of the PEPM model is its predictability. Regardless of how often you process payroll or any other HRIS functions, your monthly fee remains consistent. This consistency aids in budget planning, especially for companies with a relatively stable workforce.

However, it’s essential to remember that if your company experiences significant workforce fluctuations, your monthly costs will change. Suppose your business is seasonal or relies heavily on contract workers. In that case, you’ll need to be acutely aware of these changes when considering hris implementation with a PEPM pricing model.

PEPP: Breaking it Down

On the other side of the equation, we have the PEPP, or Per Employee Per Pay Period, model. This pricing model charges businesses per employee for every pay period. So if you pay your employees bi-weekly and the HRIS provider’s rate is $5 PEPP, you’ll be billed $10 for each employee every month.

The PEPP model’s beauty lies in its adaptability. For businesses that have a varying number of pay periods each month or experience frequent workforce changes, this model can be more cost-effective. It ensures that you’re only billed for actual payroll processes. Know all details about HR Software.

Yet, it’s also worth noting that while PEPP offers flexibility, it may lack the predictability of the PEPM model. If consistent budgeting is a top priority, the fluctuating costs associated with PEPP might be a consideration worth pondering. 

HRIS Implementation: Which Model to Choose?

Now that we’ve shed light on both pricing models, the lingering question is: Which one is right for your business when it comes to HRIS implementation?

Evaluate Your Payroll Frequency

When considering HRIS implementation and the choice between PEPM and PEPP, it’s essential first to determine the frequency of your payroll. How often is your company running its payroll? Some companies may opt for a bi-weekly schedule, while others might choose a monthly or even weekly format. If your company processes payroll bi-weekly, at first glance, PEPP may seem like it’s costing twice as much as PEPM. However, it’s crucial to understand that PEPM rates might appear lower but are typically set at a higher rate since they’re calculated over the entire month.

By taking the time to assess your company’s payroll frequency, you can get a clearer picture of the associated costs of both pricing models. It helps to sketch out a few scenarios based on different payroll frequencies to compare the potential expenses.

Consider Workforce Stability

Every company is unique, and so is its workforce. Some companies have a steady stream of employees without many changes throughout the year. In contrast, others might see a high turnover rate or employ seasonal workers, leading to fluctuating numbers.

For businesses that boast a consistent and relatively stable workforce, the PEPM model can be a more suitable option. It provides a fixed rate, making it easier for companies to anticipate their monthly expenses. On the other hand, if your business experiences significant shifts in its employee count — whether it’s due to seasonal demands, project-based contracts, or other reasons — the PEPP model’s flexibility can be advantageous. With PEPP, you’re essentially paying per active employee, ensuring that you’re not overcharged during lean periods.

Budgeting Preferences

Every company approaches budgeting differently. Some prefer the security of fixed monthly expenses, ensuring that there are no unexpected costs that might throw off financial projections. Others might be more adaptable, adjusting their budgets based on actual operational needs.

With HRIS implementation in mind, it’s vital to reflect on your company’s budgeting style. If you’re inclined towards a fixed, predictable monthly fee, the PEPM model might resonate more with your financial strategy. It offers the assurance of a consistent charge every month, making it easier to plan ahead. Conversely, if your company is more fluid with its budgeting, embracing the PEPP model might be a wise choice. It adjusts according to your payroll activity, ensuring that you’re billed for the actual services utilized.

By aligning your budgeting preferences with the appropriate subscription model, you’re not only ensuring financial prudence but also streamlining your HR processes in line with your company’s broader operational strategy. For more details visit us at

HRIS Implementation: Beyond Pricing

While understanding the PEPM and PEPP pricing models is crucial, there’s more to HRIS implementation than just cost. It’s essential to look at the HRIS system’s features, user interface, integration capabilities, and customer support. No matter how cost-effective a system is, if it doesn’t align with your company’s needs or lacks essential features, it won’t be a worthwhile investment.

Additionally, consider scalability. Your chosen HRIS should grow with your company. It means looking at potential future needs and ensuring that the system can accommodate growth or adapt to new industry standards.


The world of HRIS and payroll can seem complex at first glance. But with a deeper understanding of the different pricing models, you’re better positioned to make an informed decision for your business. Whether you lean towards PEPM’s predictability or PEPP’s adaptability, the ultimate choice should align with your company’s unique needs and operational nuances.

As you move forward with HRIS implementation, remember to look beyond pricing. Seek an HRIS system that offers not just cost-effectiveness but also functionality, ease of use, and adaptability. After all, an investment in HRIS is an investment in the efficiency and growth of your business. By making informed choices now, you’re paving the way for smoother operations and greater success down the line.

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