Honest Review (2024)

Accurate tax reporting and swift direct deposit timeline but complex pricing plans.

Written by Asim Qureshi
By Asim Qureshi, CEO Jibble

As a CEO of a time tracking software company I need to know what my competitors are up to. That means I’m often researching about and/or playing around with their products, like TriNet… you know, it’s part of the job. Here, I share my findings of that research, giving credit to those competitors where credit is due and being honest about which products I believe you really need to avoid. And so, there you have it, this TriNet review, and in it, I try to be honest, fair, and insightful…

This Review Covers:


Let’s talk about TriNet HR Platform, a software that helps small and medium-sized businesses with all their HR and payroll needs. Since its acquisition of Zenefits in 2022, it has expanded is technology product offering and cemented its position as a top HR services provider for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with or without the PEO structure. 

Trinet offers direct deposit, timecard management, and a variety of reporting features. Aside from that, it also offers onboarding and risk mitigation services, along with time and attendance management. At a glance, this diverse feature arsenal makes TriNet look like a great all-in-one solution for business owners looking for an uncomplicated solution that addresses most — if not all — of the needs of their company.

I find the software to be really user-friendly and I like that all payroll and HR info can be accessed through the online portal or mobile app. This is great news for mobile-forward businesses or those who want the flexibility of taking work wherever they go. Its expense tracking and credit card management services are also features that I’m quite a fan of, as it helps ensure that finances remain balanced and healthy. 

But since I promised you an honest TriNet review, I must say that it does have a couple of downsides. Its pricing structure is a bit confusing and not as transparent as I would like. Additionally, customer support is not up to the mark, which I feel is an extremely important element for complex HR and payroll processes. And when it comes to benefits and compliance, the software tends to favor larger providers with a nationwide presence. That’s great news if you’re a big shot, but not so great if you’re a small business looking for flexibility and choice.

Now, before we make any judgements, let’s first take a look at what else the software has to offer. So without further ado, let’s jump right into this TriNet review!

Screen showing TriNet's dashboard

What Do Users Like About Trinet?

  • Well-balanced PEO solution
  • Simple payroll and benefits process
  • Easy-to-use portal for employees
  • Expense management
  • Risk mitigation

What Don’t Users  Like About TriNet?

  • Pricing is not transparent
  • Benefits tend to lean towards large nationwide providers only
  • Poor customer support

What Pricing Plans Does TriNet Offer?

There are no clear pricing tiers identified on the software’s website, so businesses are required to directly contact TriNet for a customized quote and further information. However, it does say on their site that TriNet charges a flat fee per-employee-per-month (PEPM) basis.

What are the Standout Features of TriNet

1. Onboarding

TriNet’s onboarding feature facilitates the hiring process for businesses by offering a digital and web-based platform that simplifies the completion and submission of new hire paperwork. The feature comprises adaptable onboarding workflows, electronic I-9 and W-4 forms, electronic signatures, seamless data transfer to payroll, and a new hire portal that can be personalized. This guarantees adherence to applicable laws and regulations and cultivates a positive onboarding experience for new hires.

Showing departments and locations screen

2. Risk Mitigation

TriNet’s risk mitigation services assist businesses in identifying, managing, and reducing potential HR and employment-related risks. Their services comprise HR compliance support, safety and risk management, EPLI coverage, workplace training, and background checks. It helps businesses safeguard against possible legal and financial liabilities.

Showing TriNet's report reconcile screen

3. Tax Management 

TriNet’s tax reporting helps businesses comply with tax regulations, including W-2 and 1099 preparation, payroll tax filings, tax compliance, tax liability management, and tax audit support. It calculates and withholds federal, state and local payroll taxes and electronically submits withholdings in behalf of users. TriNet also takes care of payroll administration tax documents and helps manage unemployment taxes and claims. Having tax management capabilities like this takes a huge weight off of the shoulders of businesses by helping them mitigate risks and allows them to save time, efforts and resources in tax-related tasks.

Visualizing reports in TriNet

4. Time and attendance management

TriNet’s leave and attendance management feature helps businesses monitor employee attendance and manage leave requests more effectively. The software simplifies the timecard process by offering automatic time tracking and scheduling. This allows businesses to track total hours and overtime accruals, and transparency is fostered by allowing employees to view their schedules and punches any time. Aide from that, TriNet also has self-service alternatives, customizable policies, compliance support, and exhaustive reporting that helps businesses make better evidence-based decisions.

Visualizing Time matrix entries in TriNet

5. Streamlined Payroll Administration

TriNet promises to simplify and streamline payment with its direct deposit and debiting features. The direct deposit timeline typically depends on the specific financial institution the employee uses, but funds are generally deposited into employee accounts on the designated payday. TriNet also offers a same-day payroll feature, allowing employers to submit payroll until 3:00 PM PT for same-day processing and deposit, giving employees access to their funds faster. In addition to that, employees can check pay-related information such as earnings, direct deposits, next payday, pay history, and directly on the TriNet mobile app.

Screen showing expense overview

Selected Positive User Feedback: 

  • “This convenience of using TriNet’s PTO, is amazing. It’s so easy to request time off any time of the day. ” – Nature70. (Source App Store)
  • “The online interface is incredibly user-friendly. It’s easy to navigate around and find solutions to questions. In cases where there are issues, we have found that the “Chat” feature has been incredibly helpful.” – Jeffrey W. (Source G2)
  •  Beautiful and intuitive app. I love the redesign. I had feedback about a feature that was lost with the redesign and they reached out to understand my use case. ” – Google User (Source Google Play)
  • “The TriNet online system is easy to navigate and not too complex to use. Customer support is superb. Price is reasonable for the benefits we receive.” – Tara D. (Source G2)
  • “Having TriNet help with payroll, benefits, tracking PTO and all aspects of new hire information is wonderful. ” – Karen C. (Source G2)
  • “The amazing and fast service provided by all the people we work with at Trinet.” – Jason H. (Source G2)
  • “Trinet provides a small business like ours the ability to have big company benefits. Their platform is so easy to use, and they have it all 401K, Health, Dental, Eye Care, Legal, Medical supplements, etc.” – Verified User in Financial Services (Source G2)
  • “The WFR system is easy to use, the screens are clear, and employees and managers can readily access (and use) both via their desktop and/or via their mobile device.” – Verified User in Higher Education (Source G2)
  • “TriNet provides a myriad of health plan options in all states. This allows us to scale with workers seeming happy.” – Verified User in Human Resources (Source G2)
  • “The sheer variety of options and capabilities is excellent. Very good insurance options offered throughout the country.” – Calvin C. (Source Capterra)
  • “TriNet helps us manage payroll, talent acquisition and retention, support for our employees, access to “big company” benefits and helps our management team with proactive risk mitigation and data compliance. ” – Phil P. (Source Capterra)
  • “It was easy to manipulate reports for needed data. You can run reports for each employee to review overall benefits in PDF.” – Anna H. (Source Capterra)
  • “If something distinguishes TriNet from other similar platforms, it is its ease of use, functions, integrations, efficiency and its low cost.” – Joseph T. (Source Capterra)
  • Effective app for what it offers.” – Azzee69. (Source Capterra)
  • “The fact that they would handle payroll tax filings and the ability to help offer diverse benefits.” – Anthony B. (Source Capterra)

Selected Negative User Feedback: 

  • “The updates under My Updates don’t always load the text! This was from right after signing up.” – Verified User (Source App Store)
  • Broken nearly every time I need it. Can’t log in to the Android app, but web login works fine.” – Jay Dorsey (Source Google Play)
  • “I had to try several times (force close, restart) just to get past the loading screen, only to find that I can’t view my schedule through this app, which was the main reason I installed it.” – Google User (Source Google Play)
  • The cost. It is the most expensive tool which is why my company decided to part ways with it as our company grew, and it’s a subscription model so the annual cost goes up.” – Keoni G. (Source G2)
  • Very bad in the compliance part which attracts larger organizations and lacks features that can help them cater to the large organization’s market. Favours more to large nation-providers. Not beneficial for small businesses.” – Ajey Hare Prasath V. (Source G2)
  • “The reporting is comprehensive, but is a little complicated to navigate.” – Jason H. (Source G2)
  • Some of the teams are not accessible by phone, like the LOA or Immigration teams. Also, I have some fear I’m going to have my service model discontinued. Large nationwide providers get access to more benefits.” – Katie P. (Source G2)
  • Major bugs and engineering issues – don’t let them tell you otherwise.” – Juliette D. (Source G2)
  • “It’s a little cumbersome to use, their integrations are very obviously just tacked on as an afterthought.” – Chris W. (Source Capterra)
  • Cost is a little high – they are not a low-cost provider but the service has been great.” – Lynn G.  (Source G2)
  • Doesn’t have transparent pricings. The support team is less than helpful. Questions receive links to knowledge base instead of having a personal relationship with anyone at TriNet.” – Garret T. (Source Capterra)
  • “The PTO tab is a bit hard to understand, it could be improved. I wish if it could confirm” – Verified Reviewer (Source Capterra)
  • The marketplace could include better offers for users.” – Mimi L. (Source Capterra)
  • It was clunky. Not easy to navigate. No transparent prices – high cost. Not very intuitive. Reporting left a lot to be desired.” – Nick S. (Source Google Play)
  • “The software is kind of out of date, needs some upgrade, but in general, still easy to browse and everything.” – Bingru H. (Source Capterra)

What are TriNet’s Ratings from Other Review Sites?

(As of December 2023)

  • Capterra: 3.8/5
  • G2: 4/5
  • App Store: 4.3/5
  • Google Play: 2.9/5
  • Trust Radius: 7.2/10
  • Get App: 3.8/5
  • Software Advice: 3.7/10

What’s My Final Verdict on TriNet?

TriNet is a payroll solution for SMBs that’s got a variety of really helpful features. The software provides expert human capital management, benefits administration, risk mitigation, compliance services, and real-time technology to meet the unique needs of businesses.

Along with a user-friendly interface, I like how the employee portal makes it convenient and efficient for employees to access their information. The software’s time management functionality and tax reporting features are also essential to the modern workplace.

However, the pricing structure is a bit of a mystery which may cause a budgeting challenge and may lead to an expensive price. Additionally, the software’s benefits and compliance features seem to be suited to larger providers with a nationwide presence and not as much for small businesses. And to add to that, I also find customer support to be lacking — not quite ideal for a software of this complexity.

In my opinion, while TriNet offers several useful features for small and medium-sized businesses, its limitations such as a lack of flexibility for smaller businesses regarding compliance and benefits along with a non-transparent pricing structure make me think there are better options out there.