Inova Payroll: 2019 Review

Posted 3 years ago in Product Reviews
by Tim Chaves

Inova Payroll started out in 2011 as just a wage management system, but has since expanded to a full HR suite under the same name. According to their founder, Farsheed Ferdowsi, “As the market demands additional functionality, we deliver it.”

The company prides themselves on exceptional customer service, personalized solutions, tech innovation and fair pricing. Inova Payroll has received the Stevie® Award for Customer Service three years in a row and has been on the Inc 5000 list since 2016.

The all-in-one human resource system is delivered through the cloud and manages companies of 1 to 1000. Their goal is to be scalable for the future, so they offer a variety of solutions based on size and industry.

In fact, if they feel that your needs are already being met by your current payroll platform, Inova won’t even sell you their product.

What are the features of Inova Payroll?

Inova Payroll’s most unique feature is their Two Year Price Guarantee. Because they understand the strain that sudden or frequent price increases can put on growing companies, Inova won’t change your price for two years.

In addition, there are no long term contracts and no conversion or cancellation fees.

Payroll management

From 1 to 1000+ employees in multiple locations, Inova Payroll’s single-interface system brings all of your HR needs to one dashboard.

Inova offers multiple pay options (digital or debit, paper or paycards) as well as unlimited earnings, deductions and distributions. Additionally, Inova’s professional team will automatically manage all payroll taxes and resolve any notices on your behalf.

Time Tracking

Time tracking systems are fully integrated with payroll and supported by Inova’s customer service team. You can choose the time clock that works best for your business, whether it is a PIN reader or voice recognition.


When recruiting for your company, Inova Payroll helps you to build a custom career page. Choose from one of their standard job applications or create your own, then promote and share job openings anywhere online.

Paperless Onboarding

Applicants become employees with just the click of a button. Recruitment data is automatically transferred to your company file and employees complete the onboarding process 100% online–including every necessary new hire form.

Benefits Administration

Manage one or many benefit plans through your Inova dashboard. Employees enroll online and plan details are synced with payroll, automatically scheduling deductions and updating tables.

Talent Management

Peers and managers can review employees through Inova Payroll. Performance reviews are administered and archived online. You can also assign and track trainings or certifications all in one place.

Employee Communications

Using Inova Payroll’s Employee Communications Tool, team members are more autonomous. Through the employee portal, you can update personal data, view pay details and manage tax forms. You can also view company information and join team discussions online. Alerts, notifications and workflows help to streamline the system.

Additional Features

In addition to the features explained above, companies can opt in for other services including:

      • Health insurance (including health, dental and vision)
      • COBRA administration
      • Section 125 plans
      • 401(k) plans
      • Workers’ Comp Insurance
      • Transportation plans (Section 132)
      • Background Screening
      • HR On-Demand (virtual HR help and resources)

What kind of solutions does Inova Payroll offer?

Inova offers solutions by size and industry. Their goal is to customize their Payroll offering to each business, so there is a lot of variety in available features (as described above).

Solutions By Size

1-49 Employees

50-99 employees

100-499 employees

500+ employees

  • Online payroll
  • Employee self-service portal
  • Time & labor integration
  • Federal, state & local tax filing & compliance
  • Tax notice resolution
  • Free setup, training & support

Everything included in 1-49 PLUS

  • Applicant tracking
  • Onboarding
  • Benefits administration
  • ACA compliance reporting

Everything included in 50-99 PLUS

  • Work opportunity tax credit
  • Talent Management

Everything included in 100-499 PLUS

  • Workflows for requesting & approving changes
  • Employee communication tools
  • Integrations with accounting software & POS systems

Solutions By Industry

Restaurant Payroll

Hospitality Payroll

HR solutions bundle based on size PLUS

  • Data integrates with POS, restaurant systems and accounting software
  • Multiple pay codes based on job function
  • Compliant overtime calculations
  • Form 8027 reporting

HR solutions bundle based on size PLUS

  • Data integrates with hotel accounting packages and labor tools including M3, Inc. and Aptech
  • Third-party payments

Nonprofit Payroll

Healthcare Payroll

HR solutions bundle based on size PLUS

  • Special nonprofit pricing
  • Select only the payroll and HR services you need

HR solutions bundle based on size PLUS

  • Advanced staffing and scheduling functionality, including email alerts
  • Shift differentials including on-call and called-in pay
  • Pay Rate tables by job and individual

How much does Inova Payroll cost?

Inova does not list their pricing structure anywhere online. However, you can request a custom quote here.

It seems that Inova does not share their cost so that they can give you the best customized plan and the lowest price when compared with competitors. However, this lack of transparency is frustrating to the modern customer.

From what I could gather from the interwebs, as of November 2017, pricing started at $24 per employee per payroll cycle for a company with 25 employees (according to this review). Another review site, stated that the “perceived cost” (based on 4,423 reviews across 36 products) ranks Inova Payroll in the 27th percentile.

Note: I’ll admit that these price estimates are generally unhelpful–and somewhat irksome–I’m sorry. I did request a pricing quote, but they are yet to get back to me. If they do, I’ll update the numbers here.

Update (03/01/19): After two weeks, a representative responded to my initial request via email. The rep pushed for a phone conversation, but I said email was preferred (because no one enjoys aggressive sales calls and telephonophobia is real). During our correspondence, I asked multiple times for a baseline price, but was never given a straight answer. I was, however, sent a flyer that boasted of “transparent pricing.” Hmm.

What are people saying about Inova Payroll?

There are not many online reviews for Inova Payroll. However, where there are reviews, they are typically positive. Inova Payroll averaged a 4.5 rating on Capterra (from 9 reviews) and a 4.3 rating on G2 Crowd (from 11 reviews).

Most reviewers commented on the exceptional customer service, but mentioned a few limitations or complications in the software. Consider the following feedback:

    “Fantastic company. All personnel are wonderful, helpful and accommodating. I’ve had experience with three other payroll processors and Inova is head and shoulders above the others I’ve dealt with.”

    “They provide great 1 on 1 service and are super simple to use…If there is ever a compliance issue, their team is on top of it and gets it fixed.”

    “Very helpful and knowledgeable staff.”

    “There’s other software out there that’s a lot easier to use and even better for payroll, I just found this wasn’t the most user-friendly.”

    “Complicated system considering the cost.”

What are some alternatives to Inova Payroll?

Inova has had a lot of positive perception and has a comprehensive suite of HR resources. However, some small business owners, (like those using our products), do not need all the bells and whistles of Inova Payroll–nor do they need the accompanying price.

Inova is a great solution for mid to large businesses, but there are other solutions that may fit your business needs better. Here are a few to consider:


One of the most popular payroll solutions for small businesses is Gusto. According to their website, 9 out of 10 customers say it’s easy to set up. All plans come with standard payroll, time-tracking integrations, automatic tax filing, and an employee self-service portal. Additional features can be added, including health benefits, 401(k) plans, workers’ comp insurance and full-service HR support.

Pricing: Starts at $39/month + $6 per person/month

Free Trial: 1 month (3 months w/ZipBooks)


ADP is a well-known name in the world of payroll and is similar to Inova Payroll in its scope. Many business owners that are already familiar with ADP will opt for their small business plan (1-49 employees), but ADP is recommended more for companies with 100 employees or more.

Pricing: Like Inova, ADP does not offer their prices online. However, review sites seem to agree that the price tag is pretty steep for small businesses (closer to a couple hundred a month).

Free Trial: 2 months

Square Payroll

If you don’t need the bells and whistles, Square Payroll is an affordable solution from a trusted brand. The reception for Square Payroll has been largely positive, especially from small businesses who are already using Square POS. They also offer the unique option to choose an independent contractors-only plan with no monthly subscription fee.

Pricing: Starts at $0/month + $5 per contractor/month

Free Trial: Upon request

(For a full rundown of this service, read our blog post on  Square Payroll.)


Your payroll solution should meet your needs and meet your budget. Whatever option you choose, ZipBooks will integrate seamlessly with your Payroll in order to make you and your accounting smarter.  

About Tim

Tim is Founder and CEO of ZipBooks. He keeps his desk really nice and neat.

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