How does Ascentis stack up to other HRIS?
Updated July 14, 2016

How does Ascentis stack up to other HRIS?

Kelly C. Neill, SPHR | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • HR, Recruiting, Onboarding, ESS, MSS

Overall Satisfaction with Ascentis HR

Ascentis is being used across the whole organization. Primarily by HR but all managers have MSS access and all employees have ESS access. It has been an excellent solution for managing benefits companywide. We are an international employer so time zone differences as well as geographical challenges drive the need for a global solution.
  • Recruiting/Onboarding - We typically hire candidates site unseen and send them overseas to work. Ascentis allows us to capture information on the candidates from the recruiting phase all the way through the onboarding phase of the hiring process.
  • Extremely Customizable HRIS - The ability to customize and add tabs to the HR side of Ascentis provides endless opportunities to capture any and all data that needs to be tracked and/or reported on for employees.
  • The Benefits enrollment, open enrollment and carrier connect features of the system have streamlined the Benefits Administration process in my organization to a point where it requires very little time and attention. Once the benefits are set up through Setup Manager and tied to the benefit provider through Carrier Connect, there is very little maintenance or attention required.
  • The organizational structure of Ascentis and segregated nature of the system and system support can be confusing. For example, if I need assistance with onboarding an employee it is not often clear who I should contact for assistance. The company seems to be divided by Ascentis HR, Ascentis Payroll, Ascentis TimeKeeping, and Ascentis Recruiting, It would be nice to have one point of contact for customer support for the entire Ascentis system rather than having multiple points of contact that are often changing.
  • I attending the Ascentis User Conference in 2013 during which we were told that Ascentis HR would be transitioning to a new platform in early 2014. Since that conference, I have received no communication from Ascentis as to the status of the transition and we are still on the Remote Desktop platform.
  • During the User Conference 2013 there was no one from Ascentis that was familiar with the Onboarding side of Ascentis. I got the impression that we were one of very few customers utilizing the onboarding feature and the Ascentis staff was not aware of the features and were unable to answer any questions. In fact, I felt like I was answering their questions rather than them answering mine.
  • Would love to see the system be more flexible for international use. The system does not allow international contact information to be entered and does not allow for selection of any country locations other than US and Canada. We have had to work around these limitations.
  • The Attendance tracking is somewhat limited in that it does not allow for a policy which awards PTO in lump sums at multiple intervals throughout the year. It allows a policy where a flat amount is awarded once a year or where the PTO is accrued on a regular basis only.
  • Improved employee communication and customer service. Empowered employees to keep their own data current and relevant
  • Streamlined the recruiting, benefits administration and onboarding processes to significantly reduce the amount of time required by HR. Reduced the HR staff by 1.5 FTE as a direct result of implementation of Ascentis HR and Ascentis Recruiting.
  • Significantly impacted the companies ability to maintain compliance with Affirmative Action requirements.
  • Ultipro,Abra
The user adaptability of Ascentis is far superior to other HRIS I have used. The ability for the user to taylor the system to the specific needs of the company is by far the biggest selling point of the system. Additionally, the reporting feature which allows the user to pull data from any field in the system, even customized fields, is extremely attractive and not common with other HRIS.

There are no deal breakers with Ascentis in my opinion. The system is very flexible and allows for work arounds where limitations exist.

Update: In the last year and a half Ascentis has been unable to provide electronic transmittal of benefit information through their system in a timely, accurate and/or consistent manner. This is a key component of any HRIS in my opinion and the failure to provide this feature (which we are paying for) has been a very large disadvantage for our company. If a timely, accurate and consistent automatic transmittal of benefit information to benefit plan providers is important to your organization, I would not recommend Ascentis at this time.

Ascentis (discontinued) Feature Ratings

Employee demographic data
Employment history
Job profiles and administration
Workflow for transfers, promotions, pay raises, etc.
Organizational charting
Organization and location management
Compliance data (COBRA, OSHA, etc.)
Pay calculation
Not Rated
Support for external payroll vendors
Not Rated
Benefit plan administration
Not Rated
Direct deposit files
Not Rated
Salary revision and increment management
Not Rated
Reimbursement management
Not Rated
Approval workflow
Balance details
Annual carry-forward and encashment
View and generate pay and benefit information
Update personal information
View company policy documentation
Employee recognition
Tracking of all physical assets
Report builder
Pre-built reports
Ability to combine HR data with external data

Using Ascentis HR

100 - All functions of the organization.We are a General Contractor on federal contracts. Most of our projects at this time are overseas. Ascentis Employee Self-Serve and Manager Self-Serve help us to quickly facilitate information and changes to employees' information that time zone differences would typically make challenging. Benefits enrollment is all done through Ascentis as is the onboarding process. The new hire is able to sign off on all new hire documents including the I-9 and W-4 prior to ever reporting to the job site. Once the employee arrives on site, the designated manager or HR Rep is able to review the original I-9 documents and certify the Employer's section of the I-9 form.
2 - Basic computer skills are required. The system is extremely user friendly and customer support is available when needed.
  • New Hire Benefits Enrollment and Open Enrollment
  • Managing Employee changes to personal information
  • Recruiting and Onboarding new hires
  • Benefits Management through Carrier Connect electronic feed of all benefit changes
  • We track base passes and housing assignments for our expatriate employees
  • We track Authority levels for all employees (e.g.: spending authority, authority to approve travel, credit card limits, contract authority levels, etc.)
  • We track required annual training and required document distributions (e.g.: Summary Plan Descriptions, 401k eligibility notifications, etc.)
  • Assuming the flexibility remains the same with the new platform that will be rolling out this year, the uses are unlimited.
This rating would be a 10 if it were not for some issues we have been having recently with the benefit carrier connections. The carrier connections are critical for us so how these issues are resolved will be key in our renewal decision.

Evaluating Ascentis HR and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
Primary factors considered in the selection decision were adaptability and value added. The majority of our employees work on project locations overseas. Adaptability of the system has been critical for us in being able to track the data we need and provide access to offsite managers and employees. The recruiting and onboarding systems and carrier connect are key to being able to effectively disseminate information to employees we often never meet face to face.
I wouldn't change anything. I am very satisfied that I made the correct decision for this organization.

Ascentis HR Implementation

Don't skip steps. The customer support for Ascentis HR left it up to us how far we wanted to go with implementation of benefits for example. I was very glad that I elected to go into the detail implementation that I did rather than just doing the basics and waiting until later to complete the process.
Yes - 

Ascentis HR was implemented in the initial phase. This was a smooth process done by in-house HR staff which allowed training on the system to occur at the same time as implementation. The Customer Support was excellent through this process

Carrier Connect was the next phase of implementation. This process was slower than I had hoped and required me to keep on top of Customer Support throughout the process. Once I escalated the issues to the next level, the implementation went much quicker and follow-up improved.

Ascentis Recruiting and Onboarding was the final stage of implementation. This side of the system is more complex and involved, and took longer to implement. I got the impression during this phase of implementation that there was a definite disconnect between HR Recruiting and the rest of the Ascentis products.

Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled - Getting management and staff buy in from beginning to end is critical to the success of the process. Frequent communication is essential!
  • The implementation was relatively seamless. The most significant issue was the seemingly lack of urgency on the part of the customer support team for implementation of Carrier Connect. Once the issue was escalated, the process moved forward more quickly and smoothly.

Ascentis HR Support

With most issues, Ascentis support is very responsive and helpful, however when the issue is one that requires technical review and/or support, there is rarely any follow-up or response. The issues with the electronic transmittal of benefit information to carriers was one that after 1.5 years has yet to be resolved and follow-up from Ascentis on the status has been minimal. I have only receive information after repeated complaints were filed and escalated to top management.
Quick Resolution
Knowledgeable team
Immediate help available
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Poor followup
Escalation required
Yes - No. Examples are the benefit transmittal to carrier, attachment glitch in Ascentis HR where double clicking on the attachment freezes the system, etc. In some respects I have felt that Ascentis has been more focused on implementing their new platform and products at the detriment to their original products. I do like the direction the company is moving in, however, the support for their current products which customers are paying for today, needs to be a priority.
Yes, with routine issues and questions on how to perform certain tasks, etc. Ascentis Support is very responsive and good at walking the User through the process. The Customer Support staff are usually friendly and very willing to assist. When the issue becomes too technical and has to be referred to technicians, the issue is rarely resolved, or there is no follow-up to let the User know that the issue has been resolved.

Using Ascentis HR

Overall an excellent system, very user friendly and flexible. I am looking forward to the enhancements that will be provided with the new platform and hoping that the new platform provides the same level of flexibility and adaptability that the current system does.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Adding user defined tabs to Ascentis is extremely easy and provides extreme flexibility to the system.
  • Reporting is simple and can be performed on any field in the system including the custom tab fields.
  • Benefit set up can is cumbersome and can be difficult depending on the complexity of the benefit. The premium fields in benefit setup do not always conform to the way the benefit providers actually bill which can make it difficult to establish accurate premium rates in Ascentis.