When it comes to payroll, your business can’t afford errors and slow software. ADP is one of the best online payroll software solutions to automate payroll tasks and ensure that your employees get paid promptly and correctly. Plus, it comes with loads of other features, like a recruiting system and employee benefits manager, creating a complete system of tools to help your business thrive.
Comparing ADP to The Best Online Payroll Services
Many online payroll services have a lot in common. They track employee hours, allow easy printing of paychecks, and create reports for payroll insights. But ADP stands out in its ability to scale with your business, starting with the smallest of companies up to accommodating companies with teams of 1,000 or more. ADP’s custom-built plans give you everything your business needs, specifically, allowing you to grow with its tools relevant to your business.
As a company that has used payroll services to work with freelancers and employees over the years, we have a lot of stake in this particular product type. Our top list of the best online payroll services compares and contrasts ADP and other services to help you determine a winner for your business. See all of our top picks.
ADP: The Good and The Bad
Easily Scalable: ADP’s different plans accommodate small, medium, and large businesses. You can always start with a modest plan and switch to a different one as your business and needs grow without changing and getting yourself accustomed to a new program.
Full HR Suite: If you plan to scale with ADP or are already large enough to have an HR department, ADP can meet you where you are with its additional tools. Aside from payroll, the software can include employee benefits management, outsourcing tools, talent acquisition tools, and other HR resources to save your team time.
Employee Accessibility: Not only does ADP save your business time, but it also adds convenience to your employees, allowing them to log in to view their pay stubs or change their employee information. They can also view information about their benefits and retirement plan using their own account within your ADP system.
Customized Solutions: Some payroll software options offer a few structured plans for clients to choose from. In contrast, ADP provides custom solutions that fit your business, whether you strictly need payroll tools or require a full suite of HR services. The ADP Marketplace also helps you tailor your software with apps for productivity, finance, health care, and more.
Detailed Reporting: Get insights into your workforce demographics, compensation strategies, pay equity, and other data. Detailed reports can assist your recruiters in fine-tuning their talent acquisition strategies and help your HR department discover quality issues in benefits and turnover rates.
Accessible from Multiple Devices: With ADP being a cloud-based software, clients and employees can access it from multiple devices. Use the office computer or check on employee tax documents from your smartphone on your lunch break. Payroll processing is even available through the iOS or Android mobile app.
Collaborative Scheduling: Scheduling can get messy when multiple people handle time off and scheduling-switching requests. Collaborative scheduling makes it easier for your team and employees to create schedules that work for everyone. Allow employees to log in from their mobile device to request time off or switch schedules with someone else with pre-approval.
Per-Payroll Charges: Unlike other payroll services, ADP charges a fee per payroll based on the size of your team. Most payroll services charge a flat fee plus a per-employee fee, which isn’t as cost-effective for a large business. This pricing model accommodates mid-to-large teams well, allowing them to choose the plan that fits their payroll.
Pricey for Small Business: ADP is built to scale with your business. With that said, it’s not necessarily priced for small businesses that aren’t planning to scale, especially those strictly needing just a payroll service. Small businesses are better off using a smaller-scale service like SurePayroll, or even a free service like Payroll4Free.
Technical Errors on Employee Side: While technical errors can undoubtedly put a damper on the business side of things, ADP doesn’t seem to have many flaws that affect the backend. Instead, employees run into issues with ADP not displaying their information correctly or not calculating hours or taxes accurately. This is not just an issue for employees, but for your business as well–ultimately, it’s your business that will need to correct these payroll mistakes.
Confusing Setup: ADP is rich with features and tools, but with more stuff comes more complexities with setup. ADP can offer a dedicated account manager for your business who can help with setup, and if you’re a large company using several ADP features, this is probably the way to go, as setup can get confusing without one. Unfortunately, should you decide you need one, a dedicated account manager will be an extra cost to your plan.
Customer Service: A common complaint from real ADP users is that its customer service leaves a lot of room for improvement. Companies of all sizes rely on their payroll process to run smoothly for both the business and employees, but hiccups inevitably occur at some point. When that happens, it’s crucial to have a reliable support team at your service. However, ADP can be challenging to get a hold of and struggles to provide quick solutions to big problems.
Non-Transparent Pricing: There’s no free trial for ADP, and you’ll need to request and wait for a demo to see how it all works. That may not be a deal-breaker in most cases, but ADP also doesn’t lay out its prices on the website for you to decide whether it’s in your budget before requesting a demo. It’s an age-old sales tactic that you’ll need to determine if you want to ride out before choosing payroll software.
ADP Pricing and Options
ADP pricing isn’t disclosed on its website, mostly because the service can be tailored to your business. You can choose from payroll-only tools or add HR, hiring, and other solutions, depending on company size. To get an accurate price quote, you’ll need to start the quote process online or call ADP to speak with a representative who can offer some guidance.
ADP offers several base packages for teams smaller and larger than 50 people. The Essential package includes payroll tools, direct deposit, and basic tax management for the smallest teams. Or, add onboarding features, a talent acquisition system, and digital record keeping if you have a larger team.
Non-transparent pricing can be a double-edged sword for businesses. On the one hand, it’s frustrating not to have an idea of what you can expect to pay ADP before you schedule a demo or request a quote. On the other hand, you’ll get a customized solution featuring only the things you need, which could save you money compared to other services that charge a flat price for a bundle of features.
ADP splits up its offerings for teams of 1-49 and 50-1,000+, ensuring that small, medium, and large businesses get the payroll services they need. Solutions range from basic, automated payroll processing and tax compliance to payroll data syncing and integration with other tools.
ADP Payroll tracks employee time, automatically calculates and pays taxes, and follows legalities to ensure compliance. Plus, your employees can log into their account within your system to view their hours, pay stubs, taxes paid, and more. Certified payroll specialists are also available to answer any questions you have 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
One of the best things about ADP Payroll is that it’s scalable. If you only need payroll services right now with your new business, you can sign up for a basic automated payroll service with ADP. Then, as your business grows, you can connect your payroll service to HR tools, a talent acquisition system, or a benefits manager to create a workable system for your whole team.
ADP Time and Attendance Tracking
Gone are the days of requesting time off on a company calendar or request logs. ADP simplifies scheduling, requesting, and time-tracking processes by digitizing them within your ADP system.
Your employees can use a touchless kiosk to start tracking their time or indicate that they’re going on break. Face and voice recognition power the software, allowing each employee to track their time without papers or keypads.
Even without the touchless kiosk system, your team can clock in or out using their mobile device or a computer connected to the system.
ADP also lets you configure a scheduling system that works for everyone. The software can learn your company’s staffing needs and show you where you might want to add a person or two to cover a shift. Tweak the schedule from within the system and allow employees to log in to view it. Employees may also request time off if enabled, and your scheduling team can view employee eligibility for leave and absences through the system.
These features can undoubtedly help your team automate time tracking and attendance, but you might not see them shine the way they should if your team uses the ADP Workforce Manager app. The app is glitchy at best, often causing login and time-tracking issues that could land more work on your team’s hands to correct.
ADP Talent Sourcing and Management
When your business grows, it needs more talent to fill open job positions. ADP’s talent sourcing and talent management tools govern the recruiting process to get the right talent on your team. This feature isn’t automatically added when you sign up for ADP, but it’s one you might consider using if you have multiple job openings available at any given time.
Not only will ADP help you recruit and hire new employees, but it will also onboard them through a digital onboarding experience that gathers necessary paperwork and shows new hires the company ropes. Onboarded employees can then access a range of employee benefits your company sets up with the help of ADP’s software and its affiliates, which provide retirement plans, health insurance, and more.
Need freelancers instead of employees? Unlike other software geared toward just employees, ADP provides a full-featured solution for teams with freelancers. ADP’s WorkMarket will keep track of your contractors, stay on top of their hours or projects, ensure compliance, and pay them promptly.
ADP HR Services
Save your HR department time and stress with a full suite of HR services provided by ADP. Have a dedicated HR support professional to get help from as needed, automate some processes by setting up employee self-service accounts, and get reports on employee benefits and company compliance.
Your HR team also gets access to non-stop support through the HR HelpDesk, the ADP community, and HR checkups that note how well your company’s HR measures compare to standard practices.
The best part is that these solutions don’t just target companies with HR departments. If you run a small business, you can benefit from using these tools in place of an HR team, getting 24/7 support for employee and compliance issues as they arise.
How ADP Ranks
ADP is tailor-made to fit the needs of any size company, from just-starting-out small businesses to full-blown enterprises. That’s why we’ve chosen it as the number one pick for businesses that want to avoid typical growing pains with payroll services that can’t keep up as the company scales.
Let ADP know how many employees you have right from the get-go, and your service will meet your size needs. If your company expands, you can access other helpful features, like recruiting tools and resources for your HR department, to keep things running smoothly.
We’ve compared dozens of the best online payroll services to determine their strengths and weaknesses for different businesses. Explore our top picks to find the best option for your company.
- Gusto – Best online payroll service for most
- QuickBooks – Best for knocking out payroll & accounting in one step
- ADP – Best for avoiding payroll growing pains
- Deluxe Payroll – Best way to attract more talent
- SurePayroll – Best worry-free guarantee for small business taxes
- Payroll4Free.com – Best feature-rich free-forever online payroll service
ADP can be a cost-effective solution for companies planning to scale without switching payroll services. Start small with all the essential tools you need, and ADP will help you move onto big-business territory with HR resources, talent sourcing, and other perks for large teams. We suggest requesting a demo of ADP and speaking with a representative to see if it’s the best option for your current business needs, as micro-businesses might be better off sticking with more affordable or free software.