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ADP Review

Laura Handrick
Laura Handrick
  • ADP is one of the largest payroll services providers and has been around for more than 70 years.
  • ADP offers a wide range of services – including payroll processing, payroll taxes, accounting integrations, new-hire reporting and HR services – making it a great choice for businesses with complex needs.
  • To get pricing information, you must contact ADP for a customized quote.
  • This review is for business owners who are thinking about using ADP for their payroll service.

After doing comprehensive research and conducting our own survey, we chose ADP as our pick for the best online payroll service for complex businesses that cover multiple geographies. Further, 24% of respondents said they use ADP, making it the most popular payroll services provider in our survey. The size and breadth of ADP's services  make it an ideal payroll provider for large, complex and regulated firms.

ADP

ADP

The Verdict

ADP has been around for over 70 years and has a strong brand reputation as a payroll industry leader. It is our best pick for complex businesses, such as multistate firms and companies in regulated industries, that want an all-in-one payroll service.

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We chose ADP from a pool of more than 70 payroll companies. Read our reviews of other top payroll companies, see answers to frequently asked questions and review a complete vendor list on our online payroll best picks page.

Editor's note: Looking for information on payroll systems? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will provide you with the information you need:

 

ADP Payroll Pricing, Service Plans and Features

For our purposes, we looked specifically at ADP Run, ADP's online payroll platform for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. ADP Run offers four service plans: Essential, Enhanced, Complete and HR Pro. However, ADP offers a more robust plan for businesses with 50 or more employees. This plan, called ADP Workforce Now, adds features such as hiring and performance management.

ADP Online Payroll Plans

ADP Run plans vary in price and features, but all four include complete payroll processing. You can run your payroll online, over the phone or from the ADP mobile app. Additionally, ADP calculates, files and pays all payroll taxes on your behalf and provides year-end W-2 and 1099 forms for your employees.

Here's what each plan offers:

  • Essential: This plan gives employees direct deposit and a self-service portal. You can also pay employees by debit card or paper checks delivered to your office. ADP includes new-hire reporting, standard payroll reports and general ledger integrations with popular accounting software. In addition, this plan offers new-hire onboarding and a small business marketing tool kit.

  • Enhanced: This plan adds to the Essential plan with state unemployment insurance management and the option to have ADP sign and stuff paper checks for you. With this plan, you can run pre-employment background checks and post job openings on ZipRecruiter.

  • Complete: This plan builds in helpful HR services, like an employee handbook wizard and applicant tracking, plus five background checks per year. You also get HR training, tool kits, forms and documents. In addition, you have access to HR professionals to answer your HR-related questions.

  • HR Pro: This plan offers everything in the Complete plan, plus enhanced HR helpdesk support, a custom employee handbook, legal assistance (from Upnetic) and training, including sexual harassment prevention, for you and your team.

ADP Online Payroll Pricing

ADP prices payroll services by quote only, based on the following factors:

  • Your current payroll data platform
  • The specific payroll and HR services you select
  • How many employees you have
  • How often you run payroll
  • How many states you operate in

When we requested a payroll quote for the Enhanced plan for a business with 25 employees paid biweekly, ADP gave us a price estimate of $115 per payroll, plus $2.11 per employee. If we ran payroll weekly instead of every other week, the price would double.

There is also a one-time setup fee of $200. However, the representative we spoke with said they would be able to waive that fee and offered us the first three months of service at no charge.

Key takeawayKey takeaway: ADP charges a base fee, a per-employee fee and a cost per payroll run. We encourage you to contact ADP directly to get a quote for your exact needs; plan to negotiate.

Features

ADP Run is an all-in-one payroll solution with the features and tools that complex businesses need in a payroll service provider, including HR tools and custom reports. Here's what you get with ADP:

Payroll Processing

You can process payroll via a computer, mobile app (iOS/Android) or phone, as well as import or manually key in employee work hours each pay period to calculate paychecks based on wages or salary. ADP Run manages tax deductions, health insurance premiums, retirement contributions and more.

Payment Options

You can pay employees via direct deposit, prepaid debit card or paper checks delivered to your office. Plus, ADP can sign the direct deposit stubs and paper checks and stuff them in envelopes for you, saving time.

Payroll Taxes

ADP calculates your payroll taxes and forms, and submits your payments to local, state and federal agencies. ADP staff members can answer your tax questions, and the company offers a filing-error guarantee. In other words, if ADP makes a mistake, the company will pay any fines or penalties you incur.

Year-End Forms

ADP creates and distributes W-2 and 1099 forms to your employees and files these forms with the IRS on your company's behalf. Employees can access these forms online.

Accounting Integrations

You can export payroll data from ADP into QuickBooks, Xero, Wave or a CSV file to upload into your other business software.

New-Hire Reporting

ADP provides state-mandated new-hire reporting and fills out and files all the necessary paperwork on your behalf.

Payroll Reports

Over the years, ADP has developed myriad helpful payroll and HR reports that you can view and customize.

HR Services

If you subscribe to the Complete or HR Pro plan, you get additional HR tools. These include ZipRecruiter online job postings for hiring and pre-employment background checks. ADP offers an employee handbook wizard, new-hire onboarding, a job description wizard, a complete library of HR forms and documents, guides to best HR practices and an HR compliance database.

Additional Services

ADP offers human capital add-ons, such as talent management, HR management, benefits administration, retirement plans and insurance services.

For example, ADP has an add-on time and attendance system that syncs with your payroll service. Employees can clock in and out with time clocks, web browsers, phones and mobile apps. The system shows when employees are nearing overtime, notes unplanned absences and highlights timecard exceptions for managers.

ADP's time and attendance system tracks paid-time-off accruals and allows employees to request vacation and sick days. ADP also provides scheduling tools, as well as performance and productivity tools to monitor progress on specific projects and track the time each employee spends on each project during their workday. All of these tools provide reports to help you manage your workforce.

TipTip: Because ADP has been in business so long and is the largest provider of payroll services, the company has developed tools, processes and customization options to manage even the most complex business models. That makes it a great choice for larger, regulated and multistate employers that want one system to manage all workforce data.

Ease of Use

ADP's time and attendance, human capital management, HR, benefits administration, 401(k) retirement, workers' compensation and other insurance solutions are integrated within the ADP platform, making it easier for you to keep track of everything in one place.

ADP's online payroll service, which uses spreadsheet-style forms, is easy to learn. As a cloud-hosted system, it doesn't require software downloads; you can access it from any web browser or from the mobile app. The service offers a Run and Done feature for payrolls in which the salaried or hourly employees work the same hours each period.

You can set up reminders, such as when to process payroll, or get alerts if there are security-related changes to your account. ADP's employee app lets your staff view paystubs, manage direct deposit, change 401(k) contributions, download tax forms and more.

Did you KnowDid you know? ADP allows you to manage HR and payroll within one system, and the employee self-service app gives workers access to their information online.

Customer Service

You can reach the ADP customer support team by phone or through an online help form 24/7. You can also contact the local service center in your area for more assistance. To test ADP's customer service, we contacted the company by phone and email, posing as a business owner interested in payroll services. The ADP payroll representative walked us through the software, answering our questions thoroughly. She wanted to understand which service plan would be best for us, rather than pushing the highest-priced plan.

We got an easy-to-understand written price quote showing the comparative price structure across service plans. Each time we reached out, we received prompt responses, with clear answers to our questions.

ADP's website offers several valuable resources. It provides support for both administrators and employees, including detailed answers to a wide range of questions.

ADP consistently earns four- or five-star ratings on third-party online review sites.

Key takeawayKey takeaway: ADP offers 24/7 phone and online customer support, and the representatives are helpful. You can rest assured that the company wants to find the best ADP package for your business's size and needs.

Limitations

The biggest drawback of ADP is that it charges per payroll. This makes this service pricey for small businesses that run weekly payroll cycles or frequent off-cycle payrolls for commissions and bonuses. Most new online payroll services have a flat fee that allows unlimited payroll runs each month.

In addition, it can take four weeks or longer to get started with ADP as you provide the documentation and schedule the setup across multiple departments, such as HR, payroll, benefits and retirement.

ADP is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.  However, as of November 2020, more than 400 complaints have been filed against the company, possibly because of its size.

TipTip: If you need ADP's services because your business is complex, be aware of the potential for increased costs.

Ready to choose a payroll service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Image Credit: AndreyPopov / Getty Images
ADP

ADP

The Verdict

ADP has been around for over 70 years and has a strong brand reputation as a payroll industry leader. It is our best pick for complex businesses, such as multistate firms and companies in regulated industries, that want an all-in-one payroll service.

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Laura Handrick
Laura Handrick
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Laura Handrick, MA, SPHR, is a professional with more than 30 years experience in HR, training, organizational development, and innovation management give her insight into business management, technology best practices, and labor law compliance. Having served at the executive level in Fortune 100 firms and international franchise organizations, Laura is passionate about helping businesses grow and scale. She has written over 100 long-form articles on topics ranging from software selection to performance management and shared her expertise in over 75 publications including the Wall Street Journal and Fast Company. Laura has a master's degree in instructional technology, is certified as an international franchise executive through the IFA, and as a senior professional in human resources through SHRM.