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ADP: Standard-Bearing Payroll Services

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ADP: Standard-Bearing Payroll Services

Updated: December 7th, 2023

If your business is growing rapidly and you find it challenging to ensure timely payment of your employees while also calculating taxes, then it's time to consider hiring a payroll service. ADP, a human capital management (HCM) company founded in 1949 and headquartered in Roseland, New Jersey, is one of the most reputable payroll providers, offering multiple plans to cater to the varying needs of businesses. They provide a range of features, including HR, recruiting, onboarding, and analytics tools that enable seamless payment processing.

In this review, we will delve into ADP's features, pricing, plans, advantages, and disadvantages to help you decide whether to choose this service provider or not. Read on to find out if they work for you.


Proprietary mobile app
Multi-platform self-service portal
Promotions for small businesses
Serve all business sizes in many industries
Two product demo options available
Scalability through multiple levels of products


No free trial for medium and large companies
Many features considered add-ons
No pricing transparency
HR assist tools and guidance as an optional add-on

Quick Stats

Free Trial
3 months (smaller businesses only)
Pricing Option
Per-employee/ Per-payroll
Transparent Pricing
Customer Experience
Trustpilot Score
1.3 out of 5
BBB Rating

ADP Payroll at a Glance

Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) provides many human resource management solutions to fit various levels of corporate needs. As a company, they offer services that encompass time and attendance, talent management, benefits and insurance, compliance, as well as payroll processing and administration. ADP works with businesses of all sizes, whether you have a small company with less than 49 employees or an enterprise with a workforce of more than 1,000. They accept clients from various industries but advertise industry-specific solutions to food and beverage, retail, hospitality, manufacturing, construction, financial services, healthcare, governmental, educational, non-profit, and professional and technical services companies. They may serve their clients as a professional employer organization (PEO), wherein they would effectively co-employ your workforce, and you would receive many of their separate HR services bundled together.

As a payroll software and service company, they primarily offer payroll and tax services, as well as human resource and marketing tools; and optional add-ons like time and attendance tracking. They provide different plan levels for their payroll services, for each of which they list all the services included, as well as those that come as add-ons. ADP provides a marketplace of apps and a library of resources and tools to assist companies.

ADP has racked up many industry accolades, such as being named one of G2's highest satisfaction and best software products, and holds many certifications and accreditations. For their PEO services, they have been certified by the IRS since 2018, which bodes well for their commitment to US tax compliance, and they are recognized by the Global Payroll Association (GPA). They are not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) despite garnering an A+ rating from them.

ADP Payroll Features

ADP's payroll offerings differ based on your company's criteria. They offer different HR solutions and packages based on your business size, industry, and service needs and preferences. Their software solutions are divided into two main categories on their website: ADP Run, offered to businesses with less than 50 employees, and ADP Workforce Now, for those with over 50 employees. They also have a specialized software solution for startups with only one employee, as well as global payroll services that serve larger companies with many employees scattered over many countries.

You can purchase their software separately or opt for a full-service payroll solution that includes other features that software alone does not.

Software features

That being said, ADP generally offers the following payroll tools:

  • Unified platform: Whether your solution is Workforce Now or RUN, ADP offers an all-in-one HR and payroll platform that may be used to manage everything from hiring and onboarding to offboarding or retirement. This comprehensive suite includes flexible and intuitive tools that can be customized to meet your specific needs, making it easier to manage your workforce
  • International payroll: They calculate wages and handle all aspects of payroll processing in more than 140 countries. They offer different ways to pay your workforce, including personalized checks, direct deposits, and their own Wisely paycards
  • Deductions and forms: The software will automate tax calculations and withhold those amounts, as well as the necessary deductions for insurance, retirement, and garnishments, and can provide the proper tax forms and records
  • Payroll reports: The software suite includes reporting and analytics tools that can provide valuable business insights to help you take action. Specifically, your payroll and tax data can be output via the hundreds of pre-set, standard reports they offer or downloaded as raw data for use in independent software
  • Self-service mobile app: ADP offers a mobile application that managers and employees can use for quick tasks as an extension of the desktop platform. With it, employees can handle certain things on their own, such as setting up direct deposits, clocking in and out, and viewing and editing personal information, among other things
  • Software integrations: ADP can integrate their own time and attendance tool into the software, or you may do so with a third-party tool. They also have a lot of pre-built integrations, found in ADP Marketplace, to various third-party software applications for time and labor management, financial wellness, productivity, and so on

Other payroll services

You can enjoy expanded services that come on top of their basic software features. Those include:

  • Tax and compliance: Here, ADP will also file and pay your taxes for you, and they will ensure you are compliant with your local and state tax regulations, as well as those of the over 140 countries they serve
  • Reports and expert guidance: While their reports can ensure you have what you need for compliance, they also offer the expert guidance of dedicated experts for managing payroll compliance needs, including FLSA, ACA, EEOC, and so on
  • Additional services: If you opt for a plan package higher than their basic offering, it would come with many other HR services like employee benefits administration and time and attendance tracking. Also, ADP offers some tools as add-on options, such as performance management, learning management, and talent acquisition services

ADP Payroll Plans & Pricing

As previously mentioned, ADP offers its software alone as a cloud-based online payroll solution with features such as automatic calculations, tax withholdings, paper checks, digital pay stubs, direct deposit, and the ability to sync with popular third-party accounting products. If you're interested in more full-featured services, they have different packages that vary depending on the amount of employees you have and the level of services you need.

They do not advertise any pricing online, so you must contact them for a custom quote. Keep in mind that you have the option of launching into a self-guided demo of their system online or scheduling a demo with an ADP professional before requesting a quote. We understand their pricing may be based on employee numbers and salaries.

ADP offers various packages broken down into categories of different business sizes and criteria. For each category, plans start with basic payroll services and grow all the way to complete payroll and HR coverage, with added features and perks. Some of their products are:

  • RUN: This is their solution for small business owners and managers, for companies that employ between one and 49 individuals. ADP offers four RUN package levels: Essential Payroll, Enhanced Payroll, Complete Payroll & HR+, and HR Pro Payroll & HR. The lowest plan provides the essential software features for payroll, tax filing, employee self-service, customer service, hiring, and so on; and it is billed as ideal for startups or established companies with simple needs. The top-tier package offers comprehensive HR services, including premium HR support, employer and employee training, business advice, and legal assistance. ADP is currently running a promotion until January 1, 2024, wherein a small business that switches to them for payroll and HR would get three months free
  • Workforce Now: This is their medium to large-sized business payroll solution. There are three package levels, with Select, which offers the basic payroll software, tax, HR, and onboarding tools, as the lowest level. Their more advanced plans are Plus and Premium, representing the highest level of services, including benefits administration and workforce management. ADP also offers optional add-ons like enhanced analytics, learning management, HR assistance, and performance management tools
  • Roll: This is billed as the payroll service for one employee. ADP boasts that it will help you manage your payroll with ease using an AI-powered chat interface, GenAI
  • Global Payroll: They offer focused solutions for businesses with locations in many different countries, which unifies all your locations' payroll and keeps track of all your global data in one dashboard while keeping you compliant across the over 140 countries they serve. They offer two global payroll products: Celergo, which accepts companies with up to 1,000 employees per country; and GlobalView, which accepts companies who have more than 500 employees in at least one country

The Perks of ADP's Payroll Services

Between all the packages that fit various sizes and types of businesses, there are many advantages to using ADP's payroll services. Among those are:

  • Full-featured HR and payroll software: Both ADP RUN and Workforce Now consolidate their payroll data with their HR, compliance, and other related tools in a robust online platform accessible through the web or mobile app, offering comprehensive HR and payroll management capabilities
  • User-friendly demo: If you'd like to test out their platform, ADP provides an online tour of their software solution to showcase various features and use cases, allowing users to familiarize themselves with the platform at their own pace. You can choose a self-guided demo where you would go at your pace, or schedule one with one of their sales professionals
  • Robust payroll features: ADP's payroll products provide an impressive array of key payroll features, many of which are available even with the basic Essential and Select plans. Users can run payroll from any device, pay employees through various methods, and access essential HR reports and employee onboarding tools
  • Expandable with add-ons: Users can integrate additional ADP services into their platform, like time tracking, retirement services, and employee insurance benefits, among others
  • Scalability for business growth: Designed with scalability in mind, businesses can seamlessly transition between ADP products based on their size. From small companies growing beyond 49 employees, moving to ADP Workforce Now for enhanced HR tools, to downsizing to Roll by ADP for a cost-effective solution with essential features. Also, businesses expanding out of the US to several other countries can then use ADP's Global Payroll services to unify their processes across locations
  • Convenient mobile access: Both platforms ensure users can manage HR and payroll tasks on their mobile device, using ADP's app that provides an easy interface for employees and payroll administrators alike to access and update their information
  • Expert guidance: All their services may be complemented by expert guidance, accessed on the platform, and through several other methods. In effect, you have a dedicated HR business partner with access to industry support professionals, as needed, who can help you navigate issues like tax withholdings, child support garnishments, necessary training programs, and so on
  • Employee portal: Employees can independently manage plans and benefits through the system, set direct deposits, update contact information, or access pay stubs; streamlining administrative tasks and saving HR personnel time
  • Versatility for diverse business needs: Their platforms support multiple pay rates and jurisdictions, making them ideal for companies expanding to new locations and job types. To that effect, the platforms offer diverse health insurance and retirement plan options, legal services, employee assistance resources, automated payroll, tax filing, and onboarding assistance

Disadvantages of ADP's Payroll Services

ADP's payroll products are a solid pick for streamlining some administrative tasks, but they're not a one-size-fits-all solution. Before you jump in, consider the following drawbacks:

  • Useful features at a premium: Some valuable features that ADP offers, like time and attendance and PTO tracking, may only be accessible at the highest plan levels, or by paying an additional fee. Essential features like workers' compensation, employee benefits plans, and advanced HR capabilities may come with additional costs, requiring users to opt for higher-tiered plans. This, along with the absence of comprehensive time tracking in basic plans, can contribute to increased overall expenses
  • Lack of pricing transparency: ADP's absence of clear plan expense information or pricing structures on their website, coupled with variability based on business size and industry, may create some complexity for you as a potential customer. Having to contact them to discuss features and costs could lead to unwanted purchase pressure
  • Impersonal approach: ADP's entirely online platform, including automated telephone support and lack of immediate access to live personnel, may result in a less personalized experience for some
  • Feature unavailability: ADP does lack certain features that other payroll companies might offer, such as document management storage, which, along with the exclusion of the full suite of time tracking and attendance tools in basic plans, limits the comprehensiveness of ADP's services compared to their competitors

ADP Payroll's Customer Experience

As a well-established and popular HR services provider, ADP receives a good amount of feedback online— much of it quite positive. Among the independent review sites, they may have different pages for their separate products, such as on G2, where they have a rating of 4.0 out of 5 for their overall payroll services, 4.1 out of 5 for their Workforce Now product, and 4.5 out of 5 for their RUN small business payroll product. The TrustRadius page for RUN has an 8.3 out of 10 score, while the Workforce Now page gets a 7.9 out of 10.

On Trustpilot, however, they have a lower score of 1.3 out of 5, although that page included all of the company's products under one page, including their TotalSource PEO. That being said, there is much to gauge from all this feedback about what customers think of ADP's payroll offerings.


Users seem to find ADP's RUN and Workforce Now software similarly easy to use, navigate, and integrate well with their accounting software. Administrators and decision-makers in smaller businesses and startups found the cloud-based platform particularly intuitive and time-saving for its payroll, PTO, time tracking, onboarding, and tax compliance automation. Some liked that the system integrated their benefits, financial, and employee data well alongside their payroll and tax tools and information, as well as the customizable reports that can be put together from this data. Medium and large business users appreciated the comprehensive features of ADP Workforce Now, highlighting its user-friendly interface. However, some felt that useful features had to be pieced together separately and at a premium price.

Some reviewers who had problems with the platforms complained about the basic functionality of time tracking as included, for which they were required to pay extra in order to have all covered and deductible scheduling variations tracked. Some had issues with integrations not working seamlessly with certain apps, while others had difficulties terminating employees and unresolved tax-related problems from the transition process. Though some found the reporting functions adequate, many complained of ADP's unsatisfactory and complicated custom reporting capabilities for tax, contributions, and payroll summaries. Finally, some reviewers also expressed dissatisfaction with the outdated design of the RUN dashboard, which some describe as though it was created two decades ago and then adapted for web access.


Reviewers of both platforms commonly commend ADP for its skilled support personnel, although some have found variability in the helpfulness of HR experts over time. ADP's customer base generally expresses satisfaction with the high quality of customer service provided by the company, which is consistently available to address inquiries promptly and thoroughly.

Several users have expressed frustration with ADP's customer support, citing the need to explain issues to multiple representatives before receiving assistance. Some disliked the fact that they had to deal with an automated voice answering system, desiring a more personal touch. Some criticized ADP's dedicated, expert HR service, described as a convoluted process involving multiple transfers without resolving the initial query. On the other hand, many said they were generally able to access assistance from the company's numerous knowledgeable staff through both online channels and phone support, which is a critical factor in their positive experiences.

Overall experience

ADP customers are generally pleased with the level of service and automation they receive, with some caveats, as mentioned above. However, they point to their high fees as a drawback, especially because many features they found necessary were billed as extra by the provider, potentially making them too expensive for some smaller businesses. Some users expressed the desire for more transparent or flexible pricing structures, and renewal costs were criticized for being too high, with users reporting hidden fees after switching to ADP.

Also, it seems that users from larger companies had more issues with ADP not offering adequate support for their issues than those at small companies or startups.

However, most customers agree that the amount and level of services they receive, accessible in one mostly intuitive platform, are worth the cost. Some long-term customers have experienced issues with payroll taking longer than desired, but they acknowledge that ADP has improved system efficiency over time. In fact, newer customers, even those who initially disliked the provider, have praised their smooth and timely payroll processing for employees in multiple locations and states.

ADP is generally responsive to feedback, whether positive or negative and takes constructive criticism into consideration. Their replies to complaints and occasional reviews are brief and appreciative, and if a follow-up is necessary, they respond promptly through private channels.

Customer Support at ADP

ADP provides various customer service options to all their clients to ensure users get top-notch support for their businesses. Whether you're an employee or a company administrator, you can reach ADP's automatic phone support at 1-844-227-5237. Employees seeking help with pay information or benefits issues can do so through the mobile app. In case the app isn't handy, 401(k) assistance is available on the 401(k) plan page, while W2 queries, payroll support, and other assistance can be accessed on the system webpage. Employees can access support by logging into their RUN or Workforce Now accounts.

Administrators with common queries can turn to the FAQ section, where you might find relevant email addresses for further assistance. Additionally, support can be accessed by logging in to RUN or Workforce Now.

The Bottom Line on ADP Payroll Services

ADP stands out as one of the best payroll services providers, with plans that cater to businesses of all sizes. ADP also provides a range of specific features encompassing HR needs, including tax preparation, background checks, onboarding, analytics tools, and streamlining payment processing for growing enterprises; they can also automate your international payments. Their other perks include a proprietary mobile app, scalability for business growth, versatile global payroll solutions, and a user-friendly self-guided demo. The platform's integration capabilities, expert guidance, and dedicated employee portal further contribute to its positive aspects.

As we explore ADP's features, pricing, plans, advantages, and disadvantages, it becomes evident that their software platform offers a robust solution with specialized packages like RUN for small businesses and Workforce Now for larger enterprises. Adding more services to address your many administrative needs and transitioning seamlessly between different ADP products, coupled with some promotions for small businesses, adds to the platform's appeal.

However, weighing the disadvantages, such as the lack of pricing transparency, potential premium costs for certain features, and an impersonal online approach, is crucial. Users have expressed mixed sentiments about ADP's support, with both praise for skilled personnel and frustration with being passed between representatives, resulting in wasted time. That being said, the overall customer experience seems mostly positive regarding system usability, robust features, and accessibility.

Ultimately, when considering ADP for your payroll needs, assessing your specific business requirements, budget constraints, and preferences is essential. We recommend doing your research and reading up about the best payroll software companies, then comparing ADP against its competitors, like Paychex Flex. We are often adding useful articles on our blog page to help you understand the important factors surrounding online payroll services. We aim to assist you in choosing a suitable provider with minimal stress.

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