ADP: Fast facts

Star rating: 4.4 stars

  • Payroll and HR plans for multiple business sizes.

  • Fully automated full-service payroll.

  • International payroll and HR solutions.

  • Comprehensive employer- and employee-facing payroll apps.

ADP (Automatic Data Processing) is one of the world’s most popular, best-known payroll and human resource companies. As a provider of both in-house payroll software and outsourced PEO solutions, ADP has a plan and product for nearly any type and size of business in any industry.

Below, we’ll explain more about what ADP is and quickly review its most popular payroll products. Keep reading to find out which ADP payroll, HR, PEO or HCM solution is the best fit for your business.

ADP products: Feature comparison table

Starting monthly priceFree trialSolution typeIdeal business size
Roll by ADP$29 + $5/payee4 monthsPayroll appMicrobusinesses
ADP RUNCustom4 monthsPayroll softwareSmall and midsize
ADP TotalSourceCustom4 monthsPEOSmall
ADP Workforce NowCustom4 monthsHCMSmall, midsize and large
ADP Vantage HCMCustom4 monthsHCMLarge and enterprise
ADP Global PayrollCustom4 monthsPayroll softwareMultinational

ADP pricing, plans and features

What is ADP?

Logo for ADP.
Image: ADP

As a payroll and HR software provider, ADP sells services and products that help other businesses hire, support and pay their employees. Rather than simply targeting one type of business or selling just one product, ADP offers a wide range of payroll, HR, HCM and HRIS tools with varying price points, features and levels of support.

Here, we’ll give you a quick overview of some of the most popular ADP payroll software and PEO products. Regardless of which ADP product you choose, you’ll have access to the following key features:

  • Automatic full-service payroll with federal and state payroll tax withholding and remittance.
  • Well-reviewed mobile payroll app for both employees and employers.
  • Four months free (available with most of ADP’s small and midsize business payroll products).
  • Unlimited monthly payroll runs in all 50 states.
  • Integration with hundreds of third-party business software products, including QuickBooks Online.
  • Comprehensive payroll reports.
  • Employee benefits and built-in benefits administration.

Roll by ADP

Starting price: $29 per month + $5 per payee

Roll by ADP is ADP’s newest product and the only ADP product made specifically for microbusinesses. As an AI-based app with browser access, Roll is less comprehensive than most other ADP products. However, along with enabling easy payroll runs with fast direct deposit, the Roll app assists small-business owners with a variety of other payroll and HR tasks:

  • Multi-state payroll runs.
  • Tip distribution.
  • Direct deposit and paper check payment options.
  • Business management and general HR assistance via AI-based chatbot.
  • Wage garnishment.
  • Automatic state new hire reporting.

To run payroll with Roll, business owners type a chat command like “run payroll,” and the app takes care of the rest. The process is simple and straightforward, but it may be confusing for business owners who are new to AI chatbot functionality.

To learn more, read our Roll by ADP review.

RUN Powered by ADP

Starting price: Custom quotes only

While ADP RUN was made mainly for small and midsize businesses, its higher-tier plans can support bigger businesses that want to blend fully automated payroll with a fairly comprehensive HR product suite.

RUN Powered by ADP is primarily a payroll software service, but depending on which of the four RUN plans you choose, you’ll secure HR tools like the following:

  • Background checks.
  • Self-guided onboarding tools for new hires.
  • Salary benchmark data and insights.
  • HR toolkits, trainings, documents and forms to maintain legal compliance.

The most advanced ADP RUN plan, HR Pro, also includes access to a learning management system and a sexual harassment training course.

Figure A

Employees can use the RUN by ADP mobile app to clock in and out, request time off, view pay stubs and get crucial business updates.
Employees can use the RUN by ADP mobile app to clock in and out, request time off, view pay stubs and get crucial business updates. Image: App Store

ADP RUN is a solid choice for smaller businesses that want HCM-level tools without paying for a fully fledged HCM or HRIS program. However, while RUN Powered by ADP costs less than HCM software for enterprises, it’s definitely pricier than more straightforward payroll services like Gusto or SurePayroll by Paychex.

Plus, some of RUN’s payroll services are only available as add-ons that cost an extra fee, including time and attendance.

To learn more, read our ADP RUN review.

ADP TotalSource

Starting price: Custom quotes only

ADP TotalSource is a professional employer organization, or PEO, solution for small businesses. As a certified PEO, ADP becomes a co-employer with your small business and assumes most HR and payroll responsibilities. On your behalf, ADP TotalSource will calculate employee paychecks, withhold and remit payroll taxes, submit end-of-year paperwork, pay employees and provide guidance on issues like recruiting, hiring and onboarding.

PEOs are almost always more expensive than in-house payroll software. However, since ADP doesn’t list prices for any product besides Roll by ADP online, we can’t say how much more expensive ADP TotalSource is than a product like ADP RUN. Still, it’s worth noting that a PEO frees up time business owners would otherwise spend on complicated HR tasks and employment law compliance.

To learn more, read our review of the best PEO companies.

ADP Workforce Now

Starting price: Custom quotes only

ADP Workforce Now is ADP’s human capital management system for large businesses (as well as midsize businesses that need robust HR features). Along with RUN by ADP’s powerful payroll tools, ADP Workforce Now includes the following key personnel management features:

  • Global employer of record services (140+ countries).
  • Employee engagement tools, including surveys with comprehensive reporting and data analysis.
  • Comprehensive new-hire onboarding tools.
  • Benefits administration (not available with cheapest Workforce Now plan).

Customers can also add services like recruiting, performance management, compensation management and a learning management system for an extra fee.

To learn more, read our ADP Workforce Now review.

ADP Vantage HCM

Starting price: Custom quotes only

ADP Vantage HCM was built specifically for U.S.-based international corporations with 1,000 or more employees. It takes ADP Workforce Now’s all-in-one payroll, HR, benefits and time and attendance features to an enterprise level.

Along with offering international payroll, Vantage HCM’s talent sourcing tools help companies create a cohesive, compelling brand narrative that attracts top talent. ADP’s benefits can also keep businesses competitive across the globe while the system’s comprehensive data and analytics tools give you crucial insights into your workforce’s productivity and satisfaction.

SEE: Preparing to Evaluate HCM Solutions (TechRepublic Premium)

ADP Global Payroll

Starting price: Custom quotes only

ADP offers multinational payroll services with several of its payroll products, including ADP Vantage and Workforce Now. However, ADP also has global payroll-specific solutions that center on simplifying the most complicated aspects of managing pay for a global workforce:

  • ADP GlobalView Payroll serves businesses that have at least 500 employees in at least one country.
  • ADP Celergo serves enterprises that have at least 1,000 employees in three or more countries.

To learn more, read our review of the top international payroll software.

ADP pros

No matter which ADP product you ultimately settle on, you can expect to experience a similar set of software benefits:

  • Multiple products with multiple plans for maximum scalability.
  • User-friendly browser interface, app and software dashboard.
  • 24/7 live customer service (with some plans and products only).
  • Exceptionally well-reviewed mobile payroll apps, including an app for employers to run payroll on the go.
  • Comprehensive payroll and HR features for all business sizes.
  • Extensive built-in integrations with popular business software products.

ADP cons

Like any software solution, ADP has its downsides:

  • Software may have a steep learning curve, especially for first-time employers unfamiliar with business software.
  • Reports can be confusing, cumbersome or clunky.
  • Customer service complaints of slow response times or confusing phone trees.
  • Add-on fees for services some other payroll providers include in their base prices (e.g., time and attendance tracking).

Top ADP alternatives

Gusto: Best ADP alternative for small businesses

Starting price: $40 per month + $6 per employee

Gusto logo.
Image: Gusto.

Gusto’s small-business payroll solution is a solid ADP alternative, especially for companies considering ADP RUN.

Gusto and RUN by ADP have comparable payroll features — but Gusto is available at a lower starting price. It also includes more payroll features with its base price rather than requiring customers to add them for an extra fee.

With three plans, Gusto is scalable for small businesses with limited payroll needs and bigger national enterprises with hundreds of employees. And while Gusto’s two cheapest plans have fewer HR features than most ADP RUN plans, it offers automatic state new-hire reporting, onboarding tools, hiring tools and built-in time-tracking integrations with each plan.

Learn more about Gusto by reading our Gusto review.

Papaya Global: Best global payroll alternative

Starting price: $25 per employer per month 

Papaya logo.
Image: Papaya

If you need a global payroll service, not an international HRIS or HCM solution, Papaya Global is an affordable ADP alternative.

As a global PEO with an employer of record service, Papaya Global helps businesses pay workers in 160+ countries and in local currencies. On-the-ground compliance experts help businesses stay up to date on current, ever-changing employment laws around the world.

Papaya offers multiple global payroll solutions starting at the following price points: 

  • Global Payroll: Starts at $25/employee/month for businesses with 101+ employees, $20/employee/month with 501+ employees, or $15/employee/month with 1,001+ employees.
  • EOR: Starts at $650/employee/month.
  • Contractor Payments & Management: Starts at $30/contractor/month.

Learn more about Papaya Global by reading our Papaya Global review.

Paycor: Best HCM alternative

Paycor logo.
Image: Paycor

Starting price: Custom quotes only

Paycor’s enterprise-level HCM system helps U.S.-based companies hire, onboard and pay employees. Like ADP Workforce Now and Vantage HCM, Paycor includes time tracking tools, comprehensive workforce management, employee engagement surveys and thorough personnel data and analytics.

However, unlike ADP, Paycor doesn’t provide benefits options through its own brokerage. Instead, it integrates with your business’s existing benefits partners to provide seamless benefits administration.

Learn more about Paycor by reading our Paycor review.

Our methodology

To review payroll software, including ADP’s payroll processing systems, we do our best to either set up free trial accounts or schedule demos to get personal experience with the products we review. Our payroll software review methodology page explains more about how we choose, rate and review products.

Which ADP product is right for your small business?

Choosing payroll software for your business is a challenging process, but it can pay huge dividends in terms of the time, effort and anxiety it saves. If you’re still not sure which ADP payroll product will work best for your unique organization, our quick rundown can point you in the right direction:

  • Roll by ADP is best for tiny businesses with basic payroll needs.
  • RUN Powered by ADP is best for small businesses that want a combined HR and payroll solution on the same platform.
  • ADP TotalSource is best for small businesses that need outsourced payroll support through a PEO.
  • ADP Workforce Now is best for midsize businesses that want thorough HCM tools without paying enterprise-level prices.
  • ADP Vantage HCM is best for U.S.-based global businesses with more than a thousand employees.
  • One of ADP’s Global Payroll solutions will work best for global businesses with intensive international payroll needs.

If you aren’t thrilled with ADP’s payroll processing service, take a look at our list of ADP’s top competitors to find a suitable alternative.

Frequently asked questions

Is ADP a good payroll company?

Yes, ADP is generally considered a good payroll company. In fact, ADP is one of the oldest, most popular payroll companies in the United States. It has decades of experience, a solid reputation, and extensive payroll processing expertise.

How much does ADP payroll processing cost?

ADP doesn’t list prices for any of its key payroll products online. Interested customers should contact ADP directly to request a quote and schedule a free trial, which can run as long as three to four months.

Is ADP better than Paychex?

ADP and Paychex are two top providers of in-house payroll software and outsourced PEO services for small and midsize businesses. Both companies offer fully automated payroll, HR library access, top-notch benefits options, thorough customer service and multiple products that scale to accommodate growth.

Since both ADP and Paychex are so similar, it’s hard to say for sure which one is better than the other. However, one might be better for your business than the other depending on which features you need, which user interface you prefer and how much you can afford to spend on payroll.

Read our in-depth comparison of ADP and Paychex to learn more about which product will suit your needs better.

What are the benefits of ADP payroll?

The main benefit of using ADP or any other outsourced payroll solution is the time, hassle and stress it can save business owners who worry about payroll.

Running payroll by hand is a time consuming process with plenty of opportunities for error, including incorrect paycheck calculations or missed payroll tax deadlines. In contrast, payroll software companies like ADP let you process payroll automatically, which can include automatically deducting and submitting payroll taxes.

ADP’s other perks include the software’s ease of use, customizations, third-party integrations, lengthy free trial and 24/7 customer service.

Does ADP integrate with other apps?

Yes, ADP integrates with hundreds of third-party business apps, including a good amount of popular accounting, human resource, HCM, finance, personnel management and expense management services. For a comprehensive list of ADP’s integrations, check out the ADP app marketplace.

Read next: How to Do Payroll: A Step-by-Step Guide (TechRepublic)

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Stay up to date on the latest in technology with Daily Tech Insider. We bring you news on industry-leading companies, products, and people, as well as highlighted articles, downloads, and top resources. You’ll receive primers on hot tech topics that will help you stay ahead of the game. Delivered Weekdays