greytHR – A Good and Cost-Effective Product for Small Business HR & Payroll Automation



Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: August 5, 2021

The good

  • Seamlessly integrated Core HR, Payroll and Leave and Attendance modules
  • Extensive statutory compliance support for Payroll and Labour laws, auto-updated
  • Generates digitally signed Form 16 and single click Form 24Q generation with validation
  • Employee Self Service (ESS) module available – on the Web and via a mobile app
  • Configurable reminders for common tasks with SMS and mobile alerts
  • Mobile-based attendance marking
  • Extensive Analytics with HR Dashboards and user-defined reporting capabilities
  • Employee engagement features with Social Feeds
  • One of the most popular with the largest number of clients among all providers

The bad

  • Some UI, UX improvements would be welcome, will make it even more user-friendly for non-HR/payroll folks too
  • Doesn’t include Recruitment, Performance Management and Timesheet modules
  • Videos and simulations will increase the value of the Help documentation that at present is text heavy
  • No provision to customize UI as per client preferences.

Our verdict

greytHR is a mature and well rounded HR and Payroll app. It includes most HR and Payroll features that are needed by a small business. I was able to perform most of the tasks that are part of my regular work. It is quite configurable, which I believe will enable it to meet the specific requirements of many organizations. The new features that are being added have resulted in the app being able to meet traditional and newer requirements seamlessly.

The UI/ UX could do with some improvements. The absence of a Recruitment or Timesheet module may cause it to not meet all requirements needed by some organizations.

Go for this tool, if you seek a stable and full-featured product, which is also quite cost effective.

The Full Review:

As a reviewer at Software Suggest, I usually find it easier to review a product or app that does just one or two things, but does them well. Examples are a messaging interface, a chatbot, a search engine, etc. It’s not easy to review a SaaS product that deals with traditionally complex and time-consuming tasks, such as attendance, leave and payroll management. Tasks that from the outside look very easy and ‘business as usual’ but aren’t actually. Especially, in the Indian context for creating a salary structure that complies with one of the world’s most complex income tax laws. Complying with ever-changing statutory norms and processing error-free payroll month after month is tiresome, time-consuming and, very often, a thankless and error prone job. Errors that can lead to employee friction, financial losses or statutory penalties and fines.  

greytHR on my table

So what’s on my table is exactly? Well, it’s a SaaS product that claims to make all these tasks simple, automated and easy. For the past few weeks, I’ve fiddled with greytHR, among the first HR and payroll software on the cloud. It’s created by Greytip Software Pvt. Ltd. who claim over two decades of expertise in the HR and payroll domain.

How I reviewed it

So let’s see whether one of the most used HR and payroll software in India has what it takes. To review, I tried to go through it as an HR and payroll user would. Also, to make it easier for me to review and for you to read, I went through it one module at a time:

  1. Core HR
  2. Employee Self-Service (ESS) portal and mobile app
  3. Leave Management (includes Attendance too)
  4. Payroll
  5. Reports
  • Core HR

Configuring and adding important employee details, such as name, phone numbers, email IDs, salary structure, work experience, PF, ESI, passport details, emergency contact name, company assets provided to the employee, etc., is easy and the process is self-explanatory.

You have options to add or edit employee details individually or also import them from Excel.

All relevant details are seamlessly used as appropriate inputs to other modules, such as leave, attendance and payroll. For example, the salary structure and components you configure for an employee will automatically reflect in the payroll module. So you don’t have to add any additional details before processing payroll!

As the next step, I started reviewing from an angle of how setting up the application would help me in my regular activities. On this front, greytHR did provide many options.

I could get SMS and mobile alerts for events like confirmations, birthdays, exits, etc., eliminating the need to maintain birthday registers or scanning confirmation dates every day.

I was able to generate letters like appointment, confirmation, address proof, increment letters, etc., quite easily. This could eliminate a fairly cumbersome and time-consuming task of manually preparing letters.

The Forms & Policies module would help me collect all common forms and company policies in one place and also enables employees to access. This helps in regularly forwarding or answering employee queries.

The Assets module enabled me to track all company assets given to employees and I was able to pull out the list of assets and who was holding what.

On the Reporting front, I saw a number of standard reports. Additionally, I checked out a feature called QueryBuilder. This enabled me to generate data based on filter criteria that I applied – like new joinees for last month, salary increments in this month, employees in a department, etc. Found it quite useful as I felt that this one feature could meet any reporting need that was there.

Also, found a number of HR Dashboard for Analytics and Insights. The pre-shipped dashboards on various Payroll and HR topics were useful and gave a good overview of the data.

On the flip side, I did not see any options to add additional employee fields. Although what is already available is extensive, for those of you who need more or different information to be captured, this could prove to be a shortcoming.

Another area, which I felt could need improvement is on the provision to quickly find out what information is missing for an employee. Now, you would need to use the Excel route to get this information, which means some time investment. An auto recognition with online collection would help in reducing the burden on the user.

My verdict  

The Core HR module is useful and caters most of the relevant requirements. Was easy to navigate, search, add, and edit information as and when I needed to. I could eliminate many manual activities that otherwise I would need to take up.

Usability: 4 stars out of 5

Features and functions: 5 stars out of 5

Customization: 3.5 stars out of 5

  • Employee Self-Service (ESS) portal and mobile app

Accessing all your relevant information, such as the employee directory, Social HR, downloading payslips and tax statements, accessing company policies under one window, either via the web interface or the mobile app is cool! I feel this could really help HR users significantly cut down the time that they would need to spend answering employee queries for data and information.

With even leave requests and its approvals happening on the ESS, HR intervention reduces to near-zero leaving them free to carry on strategic HR tasks.

The Help Desk feature allows you to raise queries/ issues to any department (such as Office Administration, IT, Accounts, etc.) so that they can quickly resolve them.

There are not many notable negatives on the ESS module. It has been designed well and serves the needs.

My verdict  

The ESS module (especially on the mobile app) is a game changer; it’s the shape of things to come. With BYOD and remote work becoming more and more the norm nowadays, greytHR’s ESS on the mobile app will help in faster and timely access to information and enable employees to stay connected with the organization and happenings there.

Usability: 5 stars out of 5

Features and functions: 4 stars out of 5

Customization: 4 stars out of 5

  • Leave Management

The module has a setup and an Operations section.

I saw a large number of configuration options regarding granting, round off options, clubbing and covering of weekends, multiple leave types, etc. You can also create various policies (schemes in their terminology) as applicable to different sets of employees. I could also set up holiday lists for a single or for multiple locations.

Setting up and editing leave and attendance rules and policies are not complex and the module overall is pretty self-explanatory.

Once the policies are set up, depending on the frequency, leaves are credited automatically without any manual work.

On the Operations section, features are available to post transactions. A feature that I found very useful was the leave information section. This is similar to a leave card, but completely online. All leave information for an employee is available in one place. This will eliminate a lot of Excel files and updation for HR folks.

Additionally, greytHR has also built in the leave year-end process in both auto and manual options. This allows you to calculate and provide accurate leave balances for all employees for the next leave year based on leave rules and policies set up.

What I did not find was much of formatted printable reports. This could be an issue, if you have a need to store or distribute printed leave cards, etc.

Another feature, which I could not see was a multi-level rule based leave approval process. Even though I could see multiple approvers, if you have a need for approvals based on certain business rules, this may not be available.

My verdict  

All the attendance features and functions are inside the leave module, as these two are strongly related to each other. Initially, it’s a bit of work to wrap your head around this UI. It would’ve been better if there was a separate menu for Attendance. I guess Overall, the Leave module was extensive and completely eliminated most manual tracking and work, though set up requires a bit of learning.

Usability: 4 stars out of 5

Features and functions: 4 stars out of 5

Customization: 4 stars out of 5

  • Payroll

Payroll was one of the last modules that I evaluated.

From an initial look, the payroll module is neatly organized in the sequence of how the processing happens. You have an inputs section, a processing section, verification, payouts and publishing. This kind of gave me an overview of how to proceed with processing payroll.

The inputs section has a gross salary input area. Once done, I clicked on the process button and all other components got automatically calculated. The processing took around 8-9 seconds to complete. I also saw features for updating loans, reimbursements and arrears. Regular and advanced functionalities were well covered.

The final settlement module was wizard-driven. I felt this had multiple steps and felt this could be simplified further.

Then, I moved on to the Processing section. There was a checklist of items that I needed to do, for processing the payroll. The list looked big and covered items that I had already done earlier. So I clicked on the Quick Process option and completed the process.

In my 30-day free trial, I didn’t have to worry so much about payroll accuracy as I had entered fictitious employee details working for a fictitious company! 🙂

On the verification section next, I found tools to generate the salary register onto an Excel file. A neatly formatted register was generated. I also found a feature called Payroll Differences, which gave a difference between current and previous month’s payroll. I found this to be quite useful from a reconciliation perspective. I also found a couple of other reconciliation tools, which gave information on various aspects of the salary.

Then, in the Payout section, I could see that you could generate Bank Transfer statements. Looked at the list of banks that were covered and found that many popular banks were covered. There were other reports for cash, cheque, reconciliations, etc.

The publishing section enabled me to generate payslips. I could choose from a payslip templates gallery, which I felt was unique. I could generate and send emails and also password protect them.

The interface of selecting employees could be better for an improved user experience.

After completing the publishing, I moved on to the Reports section. I was able to quickly generate the very required PF, ESI and Income Tax reports. I reviewed and found that all the required reports/ ECR formats could be generated.

On the flip side, the module requires a certain amount of domain knowledge and would require a learning curve for freshers in the payroll area. Videos and other help could make it easier and could cut down the onboarding time. For folks, who’re aware of the domain, this is not an issue.

My verdict  

The payroll module is one of the flagship products of this company. I felt it was very comprehensive and covered all functionalities. I especially liked the easy update and process options, reconciliation tools and statutory coverage.

The payroll module is designed for HR or payroll professionals, who have a decent experience or exposure to the domain and process.

Usability: 4 stars out of 5

Features and functions: 5 stars out of 5

Customization: 4 stars out of 5

  • Reports

All standard reports, such as leave and attendance reports, statutory and payroll reports are available in the Reports Gallery section. I found this feature very accessible and useful, as you don’t spend any time in creating or searching for the most common reports you need to send to senior management.

greytHR also has the Query Builder functionality, which allows you to create any custom report that you may require. This functionality though easy to use needed a bit of logical thinking as you’re creating a query based on various parameters that you define.  

My verdict  

Standard reports are great with one-click access and download feature. I noticed that there was no option to download all necessary or commonly used reports at once. This irked me! You have to download each report individually, which at times, can be effort intensive and time consuming.

Usability: 3.5 stars out of 5

Features and functions: 4 stars out of 5

Customization: 3.5 stars out of 5

  • Other notable features

Geo Mark: This GPS-enabled attendance feature allows you to predefine multiple office or client locations to that you can capture location-based attendance without relying on any attendance hardware. Your employees just need to sign in and out through the mobile app when they reach your predefined office or on-site client locations.

Generating Form 16 and Form 24Q (including FVU validation): Generating these two forms have never been this easy, I guess. In just three or four simple steps, you get ready-to-use forms! My payroll executive observed that Form 24Q revision didn’t work on our trial version! Is this an anomaly or a bug?

Auto updates to statutory compliance: I observed that greytHR updates the software with the latest statutory-related rule modifications or amendments. Even the reports, which are pre-generated, are also updated at the backend.

This leaves you confident that you’re working with the latest statutory updates and never in non-adherence due to lack of knowledge or implementation.

Free implementation, training and webinars: On selecting a plan, clients are provided free implementation and handholding for the first two months so that they get enough time to get accustomed to the tool and its processes. I received quite a few invites for free training sessions and webinars hosted by greytHR and conducted by industry experts on payroll best practices, product updates and other related topics of interest.

Have you ever evaluated or used greytHR? Please share your reviews or views in the Comments section below. Also, please share your queries and suggestions; we would love to hear from you.

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