CakeHR Review: Flexible Web-Based HR Management System for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

PLEASE NOTE: CakeHR is now known as Sage HR. After its 2019 acquisition by Sage, CakeHR has completed its integration into the Sage suite of solutions and now has a new name: Sage HR. All major product features remain unchanged after name and branding changes.

If you're looking for a fully-integrated web-based Human Resource management system designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses, then CakeHR is an excellent option to consider. The service is easy to use, and covers all the basics, from onboarding and tracking time off, to managing org charts. CakeHR offers iOS and Android mobile apps that get high user ratings, and offers simple, low-cost, per-seat pricing.

CakeHR Pricing & Cost

CakeHR pricing is based on your number of employees and the product modules you purchase.

  • A single module for one employee costs $5.50 per month
  • All modules for one employee costs $216 per month
  • All modules for 20 employees costs $600 per month

Table of Contents

Full Review

Created in 2012, CakeHR is a web-based Human Resources Management System (HRMS) with a simple, intuitive user interface. The product has been designed to streamline various administrative HR activities, giving your HR staff more time to concentrate on higher-level tasks. CakeHR is specifically catered to small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), and for businesses looking for a web-based system that can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection.

CakeHR Features

Below, we'll discuss the key features of CakeHR, and how they can benefit your business.

HR Management

Managing human resources can be a labor-intensive task, with endless spreadsheets to update and towering piles of paperwork to dig through. CakeHR’s user-friendly interface helps eliminates these headaches by making HR work more efficient.

CakeHR’s drag-and-drop user interface is easy to learn, and simplifies various administrative HR tasks. For example, you can create a company org chart simply by dragging and dropping employee cards on top of each other in the Org Chart view. Changing the chart to reflect changes in your organization likewise is a drag-and-drop affair.

CakeHR Drag and Drop Org Chart

Employee Self-Service

Every HR department has limited resources. The last thing you need is for your staff to spend needless time on entering, changing, and answering questions about employee information.

CakeHR helps you free up your employees and HR staff by letting employees manage much of their own information. Employees can update their marital status, see how many hours of vacation they have accrued, or submit vacation requests through the self-service portal.

CakeHR Employee Self Service

The built-in company calendar makes it easy to see who is out of the office and when the next company holiday is. There’s even a built-in vacation accrual calendar, so an employee can see at a glance how much vacation time they have left, instead of asking you to figure it out for them.

Employee Onboarding and Offboarding

CakeHR provides a basic onboarding/offboarding system. You can create, categorize, and save onboarding templates that outline relevant tasks to complete, documents to sign, and workflows to follow. You can then assign those templates to new hires to ensure that they remain compliant with your company’s onboarding process. This helps standardize each employee's onboarding process, which can play an important role in successfully integrating new hires into your company.

The offboarding system is similarly flexible, but requires you to create and document all of the processes involved.

Documents and Company Assets

Another time-consuming task for HR is tracking documents and company assets. CakeHR provides a central archive of documents, as well as archives for each individual employee. This provides maximum flexibility when it comes to keeping track of which employees have which specific documents, while making it easy to distribute general documents to the entire company or specific individuals within your organization.

You can assign company assets directly to individuals through the Assets tag on their employee card, and use one of the built-in reports to track all assets in one place.


CakeHR brings a welcome level of organization to reporting. The company’s real time data is consolidated into an HR Dashboard that provides an overview of key metrics. The service comes with numerous pre-defined reports, and lets you create whatever custom reports serve your organization’s needs. One additional feature of the reporting system is an Access Log so you can keep track of usage of the service.

Mobile App

CakeHR has its own mobile apps for both iOS and Android. These apps enable you to access most sections of your HR system from your phone, which means that you can stay on top of things without being tied to your desk. In particular, the mobile apps provide access to:

  • Your dashboard
  • Calendar
  • Your tasks
  • The Directory
  • Support

You can approve or decline your team’s time-off requests through the app, or submit your own requests. The Calendar shows you everyone’s in-office status, and the Directory puts you in contact with your fellow employees directly within the app.

CakeHR Android App

The Android and iOS apps are both highly rated (4.6* in the Google Play Store, and 4*+ in iTunes). Many users like the smooth performance of the mobile app, as well as how nicely the app integrates with the full system.


CakeHR integrates with popular applications that your organization may already be using, including Slack, G Suite (including Gmail and Google Calendar), Findmyshift, and Microsoft Outlook. While any or all of these could be quite useful, setting them up will likely require IT support, as you will need to configure SAML SSO credentials for each person who wants to use the integrations.

Performance Reviews

While this feature was not ready at the time of this review (March 2018), CakeHR is in the process of adding 360-degree feedback features to the product. This will include features such as customizable questionnaires, group summary reports, external reviewers, and rater tracking.

Is CakeHR the right software for you?

CakeHR gives you an integrated HR solution with a user interface that simplifies administrative tasks to free up your HR staff's schedule. It also automates and tracks the HR data that most SMBs need to function, doing away with much time-intensive manual labor.

The service is flexible enough to suit different businesses' needs, and allows you to easily create custom workflows and reports as needed. CakeHR is also easy to use with a low learning curve, and offers affordable per-seat pricing. This makes it suitable for small and medium-sized businesses that are looking for a lightweight web-based HR management system at a low price. However, the service is not suitable for large enterprises, who may be looking for more robust features, or an on-premise system.

Yousef Fatehpour

Yousef Fatehpour is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit. He graduated from University of California, San Diego, where he studied Human Centered Design and Communications. His work at UCSD's Design Lab emphasized UX research and product management.

Yousef's primary areas of interest are software design, user journeys, and how user experience is handled across software markets. Yousef also has experience in product design and multimedia content production. You can connect with Yousef on LinkedIn.

Yousef is an expert in several software categories including:

  • SMS marketing software
  • Document management software
  • Human resource software
  • Applicant tracking software
  • Design software