Paycor and ADP are two popular payroll and HR software solutions with similar paycheck, benefits administration, and time and attendance tools. Paycor’s comprehensive but small-scale human capital management solution mainly accommodates small and midsize businesses. ADP’s varied products — which include HR and payroll software, HCM, global payroll and more — work better for big businesses and corporations.

SEE: A guiding hand is available if you need to choose a suitable payroll service.

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What is ADP?

The ADP logo.
Image: ADP

ADP is one of the world’s foremost outsourced payroll and HR solutions. Its payroll and HR software, RUN Powered by ADP, compares favorably to competitors like Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll and Paycor. ADP also has several outsourced, cloud-based solutions for businesses that want higher levels of third-party HR and payroll assistance. This article focuses on RUN Powered by ADP, the ADP product with the most similarities to Paycor. Learn more in our comprehensive ADP review.

What is Paycor?

The Paycor logo.
Image: Paycor

Paycor is a human capital management solution, which means it bundles payroll features with HR, talent management, expense tracking, benefits administration, employee experience and workforce management tools. Unlike ADP, Paycor offers a series of solutions tailored to niche industries, including payroll for nonprofits, manufacturing businesses and healthcare industries. Paycor can help you decide which payroll features your business needs and perform a white-glove software setup. Learn more in our comprehensive Paycor review.

ADP vs. Paycor: Feature comparison table

Both ADP and Paycor offer full-service payroll, benefits administration, HR tools and more. Compare their most crucial features below.

FeaturesRUN Powered by ADPPaycor
Unlimited payroll runsYesYes
Automatic tax filingYesYes
End-of-year tax formsYes (additional fee)Yes
Direct depositYesYes
Health benefitsYes (available in all 50 states)No (third-party insurance integration only)
Native time and attendance toolsYesYes
Learning management systemNoYes
Mobile appYes (for employers and employees)Yes (for employees only)
Clear pricing listed onlineNoNo
Free trialYes (Current offer: four months)Unlisted on site

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ADP and Paycor pricing

Both ADP and Paycor have multiple plans with an increasing number of features, but neither provider lists its prices online. To get a quote, you’ll have to call a sales representative directly.

Feature comparison: ADP vs. Paycor

Standard payroll features

As full-service payroll providers, both ADP and Paycor offer some of the same standard payroll features with little to no difference:

  • Unlimited automatic payroll runs.
  • Payroll tax calculation, withholding and remittance.
  • Year-end tax form generation (additional fee with ADP).
  • Direct deposit and check writing.
  • Native time and attendance tracking (additional fee for both providers).

Health benefits

ADP has an in-house insurance brokerage that companies can use to find group health insurance plans for employees in all 50 states. While Paycor has an employee benefits administration module, it doesn’t have a brokerage that pairs you directly with insurance companies.

Learning management system

Paycor’s employee learning and development solution lets you customize courses, generate reports and create role-specific lessons that foster career growth. RUN Powered by ADP has basic onboarding features, but you can only use ADP’s learning management system if you choose its PEO plan, ADP TotalSource.

Paycor’s learning management system includes course templates businesses can personalize to their unique industries and compliance requirement.
Image: Paycor. Paycor’s learning management system includes course templates businesses can personalize to their unique industries and compliance requirements.

Global payroll

ADP offers several global payroll, HR, talent management and workforce management solutions. While Paycor partners and integrates with a third-party global employer of record called Globalization Partners, it doesn’t have a built-in global payroll system.

Mobile apps for both employers and employees

Most payroll providers — ADP and Paycor included — have mobile payroll apps your employees can use to access pay stubs, paycheck data and tax forms. Paycor’s app (Paycor Mobile) and ADP’s app (ADP Mobile Solutions) also let employees clock in and out, request time off, view work schedules and see benefits.

ADP’s employee-facing app has a straightforward dashboard where employees can clock in and out, review their pay data, see an explanation of benefits and complete company-specific tasks like COVID-19 safety checks.
Image: ADP Run. ADP’s employee-facing app has a straightforward dashboard where employees can clock in and out, review their pay data, see an explanation of benefits and complete company-specific tasks like COVID-19 safety checks.
Paycor’s app for employees shows hourly employees their hours and upcoming work schedule. Employees can also use the app to chat with employees and managers.
Image: Paycor Mobile. Paycor’s app for employees shows hourly employees their hours and upcoming work schedule. Employees can also use the app to chat with employees and managers.

Of the two payroll providers, only ADP offers a separate payroll app for employers. The employer-facing app, called ADP Run, lets employers view employee hours, approve payroll and run payroll on the go.

ADP’s employer-facing app has all the same capabilities as its browser dashboard.
Image: ADP Run. ADP’s employer-facing app has all the same capabilities as its browser dashboard.

Industry-specific software customization

Businesses in any industry can use ADP to run payroll and handle HR, but its features are fairly generic. If you prefer an industry-specific solution, Paycor’s software can be tailored to businesses in the following fields:

  • Healthcare.
  • Retail.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Restaurants.
  • Education.
  • Non-profits.
  • Professional services.

ADP pros and cons

ADP pros

  • Multiple payroll plans and products.
  • Background checks, new hire self-onboarding and state new hire reporting.
  • General ledger report available with every plan.

ADP cons

  • Limited pricing information is available online.
  • Automated phone-based customer support involves a long phone tree.
  • Pricier than payroll-first competitors like QuickBooks Payroll.

Paycor pros and cons

Paycor pros

  • Multiple plans to fit multiple business sizes and HR needs.
  • Expansive human capital management that is specific to small businesses.
  • Thorough career and compensation planning, talent development and recruiting tools.

Paycor cons

  • No payroll app for employers.
  • No general ledger report is available with the most basic plan.
  • Too few features for larger, more complex organizations.

SEE: Rivalry is in the air with this insightful look at ADP vs Gusto.

Methodology

To compare ADP and Paycor, we ran demos for both products and read user reviews on sites like Trustpilot and Gartner Peer Insights. We considered each company’s responsiveness to customer complaints, including those filed with the BBB and detailed on the App Store and Google Play.

Should your organization use ADP or Paycor?

While deciding if ADP or Paycor is right for you, consider factors like price, payroll features, add-on tools, third-party integrations and customer support. You should also consider your business’s size and plans for growth. Companies with fewer than 50 employees won’t need as many features or as much customer support as companies that pay 100 to 1,000 workers.

To get a better sense of just how many payroll options are available to you, read our list of the year’s best payroll software.

Other HR solutions

1 Rippling

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Rippling is the first way for businesses to manage all of their HR, IT, and Finance — payroll, benefits, computers, apps, corporate cards, expenses, and more — in one unified workforce platform. By connecting every business system to one source of truth for employee data, businesses can automate all of the manual work they normally need to do to make employee changes.

Learn more about Rippling

2 Paylocity

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Simplify payroll, automate processes, and stay tax compliant, all in one spot. Our tools help you tackle the day-to-day, so you can focus on your people. Empower employees to view checks, request time off, clock in/out and update their personal data with Employee Self Service. Pull expense reimbursements into paychecks and run custom reports to get the data you need. Build a better future for your organization with a scalable solution focused on your business outcomes, priced for your budget.

Learn more about Paylocity

3 Paycor

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Paycor’s HR software modernizes every aspect of people management, which saves leaders time and gives them the powerful analytics they need to build winning teams. Paycor provides a full suite of HCM solutions with a single source of truth for employee data, so users never have to switch platforms, log-in to multiple systems, re-key data or open multiple spreadsheets. Everyday processes become simplified, allowing organizations to focus on their most important work.

Learn more about Paycor

4 Deel

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Deel's full-suite of HR tools allows companies to manage the entire employee lifecycle—from recruitment and onboarding and beyond—in 150 countries. All this from a single, easy to use interface. US and Global Payroll allows you to pay any type of worker in 100+ countries, and all 50 states, in whatever currency you choose. And with 200+ in-house legal experts and entities in 120+ countries, using Deel means you’ll always be compliant with local regulations.

Learn more about Deel

5 BambooHR

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BambooHR is an award-winning HR platform that helps your growing organizations automate, centralize, and connect your people data all in one place. It gives you a one stop shop to manage data, hire talent, run payroll, and help employees grow.

Learn more about BambooHR