How Much Does Workday Cost?

Discover Workday HCM's costs with OutSail. Typical fees are $45-62 PEPM and a minimum annual cost of ~$225K. OutSail provides key insights on HRIS solutions

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
July 4, 2023
user comparing HRIS systems


How Much Does Workday Cost?

Workday HCM charges companies on a quarterly or annual subscription basis. Workday HCM is often one of the most expensive HRIS option on the market. Workday's software fees can cost as much as $45-62 PEPM for companies at scale and there is typically a minimum annual cost of ~$225K which could prevent some smaller customers from pursuing this option.

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In addition to the software fees, implementing Workday HCM will require a one-time implementation fee. Workday HCM, or their implementation partners, will charge ~125-150% of the annual software fees for their implementation fees (i.e., $625-750K implementation fee on a $500K annual purchase).

Most Workday HCM customers also have multiple full-time HRIS managers or continue to pay their implementation partner to help manage the system, so this is another cost to consider with Workday.

Recent Workday Pricing Updates

Workday has recently set their sights on the mid-market and have adopted a more streamlined implementation approach that can lead to lower costs and quicker implementation timelines. Workday still has a minimum annual costs (north of ~$225K ) but the implementations can be closer to ~80-110% of the annual fee. Additionally, the mid-market implementations are typically completed in 4 to 6 months, as opposed to 6 to 9 months in the enterprise.

What Modules Are Included with Workday?

Workday HCM offers every module from hire-to-retire and even provides robust financial & accounting tools too. Companies can, and often do, use Workday HCM as their single system for all HR needs. However, some companies will leverage a best-in-class payroll tool (like ADP) or a best-in-class ATS (like Greenhouse).

Some of the Core HR functionality that Workday offers includes:

  • Payroll Management & Tax Filing
  • Benefits Admin
  • HR Administration / Employee Files
  • Time Tracking & Attendance
  • Onboarding & Offboarding

Additionally, Workday has some of the most robust talent management functionality in the marketplace, including:

  • Recruiting & Applicant Tracking System
  • Performance Management
  • Compensation Management
  • Workforce Planning & Succession planning
  • Engagement
  • Learning
Who is Workday?

Workday HCM was founded by ex-PeopleSoft executives who saw an opportunity to bring the HCM model to the cloud. Workday is a Silicon Valley success story that has turned into one of the leading enterprise software companies in the world. Workday software is targeted at enterprise companies and Workday customers make up a significant portion of the Fortune 500. The system is defined by a single database architecture, strong integration capabilities and endless permissions, controls and configurations. Despite being a robust, full-featured system, Workday is still user friendly and does a great job of encouraging employee self service

What Sized Companies Fit Workday Best?

Workday HCM is considered an Enterprise HRIS, which means the system works best for companies with more than 1,000 employees. Enterprise solutions are designed to be all-in-one HRIS's for companies with high degrees of complexity in their operations. Companies that operate in many states and countries, and companies with numerous entities and sub-divisions find a lot of value in working with Enterprise HR Systems.

Enterprise solutions typically take about 6-10 months to implement and often require external consultants to successfully implement and manage the solutions. Enterprise solutions have powerful rules engines and unmatched custom workflow tools, that enable them to meet any company's requirements. Enterprise solutions also offer robust talent management tools to improve recruiting processes.

Although Workday has historically been an enterprise system, they have made a strong effort to move down market in recent years with a revamped pricing model and implementation approach. Some mid-market customers are implementing Workday in 3-4 months with their new implementation model.

Considerations to keep In Mind with Workday HCM

Although there are many great things about Workday, it is not a fit for every business. Some things to keep in mind when deciding if Workday is best for your business include:

  • Does Workday have robust enough time tracking and workforce management features for our use case?
  • Is Workday's recruitment solution going to improve our hiring process enough or will we need a 3rd party to replace their ATS?
  • Can we afford the total cost of Workday including the initial implementation, the renewal cost and the service provider work that we'll use on an ad hoc basis?
  • Will we use Workday as a one stop shop for all of our HR software needs or will we also need to set-up third party integrations?
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Meet the Author

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
Brett Ungashick, the friendly face behind OutSail, started his career at LinkedIn, selling HR software. This experience sparked an idea, leading him to create OutSail in 2018. Based in Denver, OutSail simplifies the HR software selection process, and Brett's hands-on approach has already helped over 1,000 companies, including SalesLoft, Hudl and DoorDash. He's a go-to guy for all things HR Tech, supporting companies in every industry and across 20+ countries. When he's not demystifying HR tech, you'll find Brett enjoying a round of golf or skiing down Colorado's slopes, always happy to chat about work or play.


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