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January 6, 2015 Business Technologies

NetSuite ERP vs. Workday HR Comparison

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By Sonja Fridell

NetSuiteVersusWordayHRWe often field questions about NetSuite vs. Workday, and we think it’s time to set the record straight comparing the two accounting platforms. First and foremost, Workday is primarily a super-powerful HR and Payroll, or HCM (human capital management) platform, whereas NetSuite is a true all-in-one, enterprise-level “ERP” system with an included HR tool.

So what’s the difference? Well, NetSuite is indeed able to perform many of the enterprise-level HR and Payroll functions that Workday can. One of the biggest differences is that because NetSuite aims to be an “all-in-one” platform. Workday is a bit more specialized, whereas NetSuite has a lot of additional functionality. Both NetSuite and Workday are cloud-based (Workday can be on-premise), enterprise-level SaaS offerings, so there is no real difference in the way the software is usually deployed. It is however, possible to integrate Workday with NetSuite – more on that in our comparison guide for both products.

For the purpose of this comparison, we will be primarily comparing NetSuite’s capabilities vs. Workday as an enterprise-level HR and Payroll tool.

NetSuite ERP vs. Workday Comparison:

1. NetSuite ERP — Like Workday, NetSuite is capable of all facets of HR management, onboarding and payroll. Below is a sample of NetSuite’s “Payroll and HR” dashboard. Being that it is an internal dashboard in NetSuite, it is automatically integrated with the rest of your NetSuite system. You’ll have to integrate tools (like your CRM) with Workday to get the same functionality. In NetSuite, you can execute both complex tasks like time tracking, as well as mundane tasks – like identifying skills and expertise of employees. NetSuite, like Workday, also safely stores employee information in the event a former employee is rehired, which is especially useful in organizations of hundreds or thousands of people.

“We’ve been able to go paperless and take advantage of automated workflows to improve efficiency. We’ve brought everything together into a one-stop shop and increased transparency for employees.” – Diana Young
Senior Vice President, NCI (Courtesy of NetSuite)

HR and Payroll Dashboard Sample — NetSuite ERP


2. Workday — In comparison to NetSuite from an HR prospective, Workday is a fairly comparable product, although it is usually deployed on an extremely large scale (1,000+ employees). That being said, Workday is not as capable of any of the advanced-level, integrated ERP functionality (such as advanced inventory and accounting) that NetSuite is. Compared to NetSuite, Workday is not as much an “all-in-one” business software tool. You can see below that Workday’s dashboard is very simple, and they do have a “mobile-first” approach to development, meaning that all their tools are extremely mobile friendly. Workday for example, does not have the ability to operate as a CRM (Customer Retention Management) system in the way that NetSuite can. As far as pricing goes, Workday is also extraordinarily more expensive than NetSuite, but again, doesn’t act as a true “all-in-one” solution. For a comprehensive comparison between the two software suites, download the NetSuite vs. Workday Comparison Guide.

Dashboard Sample — Workday HR and Payroll


Covered in our NetSuite HR vs. Workday Comparison Guide:

  • HR and Payroll Features — What sort of options do you have for HR and Payroll?
  • Enterprise-level Human Resources — Are NetSuite and Workday both capable of enterprise-level human resource practices?
  • Pricing — How much more expensive is Workday than NetSuite?
  • On-premise vs. Cloud — Can NetSuite or Workday be deployed on-premise?
  • User Adoption Rates — Is the software user friendly-enough to encourage people to want to use it?


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author bio

Sonja Fridell

Sonja is very active in architecting CRM, ERP and marketing automation solutions for clients across North America. As an ex-journalist, she is adept at exploring a client’s needs and coming up with cutting edge, elegant solutions that fit, drive adoption, and create real results.

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