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ADP TotalSource PEO: Robust Co-Employment Features

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ADP TotalSource PEO: Robust Co-Employment Features

Updated: September 24, 2023

Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) is a well-known multinational company founded in 1949 that provides human capital management (HCM) solutions in multiple fields. Among those services, they operate as a Professional Employee Organization (PEO) that offers multiple services to enhance a business's workflow and provide human resources (HR) assistance. Under their PEO sub-brand, ADP TotalSource, they offer many professional services, including HR support, payroll, employee benefits, recruiting, performance benchmarking, and more.

In this review, we will be focusing more on ADP TotalSource's co-employment and HR outsourcing services. We will provide enough information for you to gauge if it may work for your business.


Excellent payroll services
Automatic employee tracking
Multiple packages for different business sizes
Easy mobile app
Employee self-service


Interface may be confusing
May be expensive
Does not advertise prices


Quick Stats

Business Size
Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs)
Not advertised
Customer Experience
Expert HR Guidance
BBB Rating
NAPEO Member
ESAC Accreditation

ADP TotalSource in Brief

ADP TotalSource is a best-in-class PEO that now supports more than 700,000 worksite employees nationwide. While they specialize in serving small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), their clients include companies of all sizes, whether yours is a small business of less than 50 employees or a larger company employing more than 1,000 individuals. ADP TotalSource's mission is to lessen the burden of handling your company's HR, employee management, and benefits, giving you the chance to focus on growing your business.

In their capacity as a PEO, ADP basically works as a co-employer with your workforce and shares certain management and compliance responsibilities. Much of what they do involves HR outsourcing services, which focus on aspects of taxes, payroll, health care reform, workers' compensation insurance, compliance, employee benefits, and so on. 

You may have a business with tremendous potential. However, if you are not fully prepared for all of the ups and downs and inevitable obstacles along the road, a misstep with your HR work could destroy all of your hard work. The ADP team is fully prepared and trained to handle the situation so that you are free to tackle your company's other strategic concerns. ADP's HR management and employee benefits professionals have performed this type of work for hundreds of businesses similar to yours and continue to do so.

ADP TotalSource 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. They have been certified by the IRS since 2018 and have been accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) since 1995. They are members of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) but are not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) despite garnering an A+ rating from them.

The Industries & Sizes Served by ADP TotalSource

ADP strives to serve businesses of various sizes and within many industries. That means that they have focused services for you, whether you have a small business of 1–49 employees, a medium business of 50–999 employees, or an enterprise of over 1,000 employees. That being said, their PEO services are generally geared towards small and medium-sized businesses, with a special emphasis on companies with 5 to 250 employees. However, while they do discuss different plans for HR and payroll services for each company size category, ADP does not specify any TotalSource PEO packages for them online.

The company serves many industries, including those of retail, healthcare, restaurants and hospitality, manufacturing, construction, professional and technical services, financial services, government agencies, and education, as well as nonprofits and social services. For each of these industries, you, as a stakeholder, can pick and choose the aspects of payroll software or HR that you need served, or you can have all that and more by joining their PEO.

ADP TotalSource's Services & Features

While ADP does discuss specific plan tiers and features for their RUN payroll and HR services online, they do not for the TotalSource PEO. However, they list the categories of features and the wide range of specific services they offer. You would need to contact the provider for a quote to discuss service packages. That being said, the feature categories are as follows:

  • HR: They have a long list of HR-centric services they offer. Those include workplace compliance, training, new hire onboarding and retention, documentation management, workers' compensation, background checks, performance management, and many more
  • Payroll: They will handle payroll administration and delivery, as well as service garnishments, W-2s, unemployment insurance, employee scheduling and time-off requests, taxes, and so on
  • Expert Support: ADP advertises their personnel support very highly, which involves assigning an HR business partner (HRBP) to guide you through everything to do with HR. They also supply payroll specialists, technology specialists, benefits teams, and workplace safety consultants, among a whole host of other workplace experts
  • Benefits: Employee benefits can be hard to navigate, especially for smaller companies. ADP TotalSource will take care of your employees' plans for medical, dental, 401(k) savings, commuter benefits, and various other insurance and assistance benefits and plans
  • Technology: Much of their services are accessed through the Workforce Now Technology software, which comprises features for HR, payroll, compliance, reporting, analytics, and so on. Employees are able to communicate and access some features via the ADP app
  • Add-ons: If your business needs extra services, ADP offers a suite of add-ons that come with additional costs. Those include employee engagement and leadership training, a student loan repayment program (via payroll deductions), a recruitment and resume search service, and other popular solutions 

Working with ADP TotalSource enables you to manage your employees without having to perform complex administrative tasks. Additionally, employees can enter the system through their web dashboard or mobile app platforms to access payroll, retirement benefits, and employee perks themselves, among other tasks. Their innovative solutions enable employees to be more self-sufficient, and this is a huge part of what makes this PEO stand out. This serves to free up your company's administration for other pressing matters.

How does ADP TotalSource work?

To make use of their services, simply contact ADP to receive a quotation for your business, and their team will provide you with all available options. The ADP team will assist you in choosing the appropriate package for payroll and tax administration, competitive benefits and insurance, talent recruitment and management, regulatory compliance and employee relations, as well as cutting-edge HR and employee self-service technology. Once you're in contact with their team, you can discuss with them the services and costs you wish to incorporate into your business. 

All of TotalSource's services were carefully created and designed by ADP TotalSource's team to help you manage your HR processes, facilitate employee plan enrollments, ensure adherence to local payroll taxes, and so on. This way, you will be able to maintain a great work atmosphere and help your employees balance their work and daily lives while staying fully engaged in their jobs.

How Much Does ADP TotalSource Cost?

Like many other PEOs, they don't advertise prices online. You would need to contact their team to get a direct, personalized quote for a suite of features that fits your company's needs and budget, and we understand that your geographic location may play a role in the costs you're quoted.

You are billed monthly, depending on the number of employees you have, and their pricing may be calculated as a certain percentage of your payroll. We understand their pricing is somewhat higher than other certified PEOs, and an online source we found suggested that TotalSource’s quotes start at $85 a month per employee. Keep in mind that your PEO pricing will typically vary between 2% and 12% of your employee wages, according to ADP.

The Perks of ADP TotalSource

There are a whole host of advantages to this PEO that may sway you towards purchasing their services. Among those are: 

  • Full-featured software: TotalSource hosts all their HR and co-employment tools in their robust online technology tool, which is accessible on the web or via their mobile app
  • Self-guided demo: ADP gives you the option of taking an online tour of their PEO software, complete with a guided demo of the various features and use-cases
  • ADP mobile app: Even if you’re on the go, they are there for you through their mobile platform
  • Expert guidance: You have your own HR business partner assigned to you, as well as many industry support professionals that may be contacted through the system as needed
  • Employee portal: Employees can set up their own plans and benefits on the system. That means that even when taking on new hires, your company’s administration can still focus on the big picture
  • Industry leader: ADP has a long and rich history serving SMBs’ payroll and human resources needs, and their fully-accredited and certified PEO has garnered many accolades over time

The Drawbacks of ADP TotalSource

ADP TotalSource certainly makes for a compelling co-employment solution, but it might not fit everyone's criteria. You should consider the following disadvantages before choosing to purchase their services:

  • Lack of plan and price transparency: The provider shares a long list of PEO features on their website, but does not share any specific plan tiers there. Nor do they discuss how features may differ between business types of differing sizes or industries, or how their prices are calculated. You have to contact them to discuss their services in more detail, at which point you may feel pressured to purchase
  • No free trial: Although they have a guided demo online, they do not allow you a risk-free trial period
  • Less personal approach: Their service platform is entirely online, including access to your HRBP, which might not suit some users desiring a more intimate and immediate approach. Perhaps due to the sheer size of ADP as a company, it’s difficult to connect with live personnel, as even the telephone support line is automated
  • Prices might be higher: Based on what customers have reported, we understand that TotalSource's costs are higher than other providers'. And because the pricing model is based on employee salaries and numbers, final costs might increase with time and growing company structure

Can Your Business Benefit From ADP TotalSource?

You may certainly stand to benefit from ADP's PEO services, particularly if your business is relatively small and lacks a sufficient internal HR team. They can help your business stay afloat by effectively co-employing your workforce and taking over many of the tasks related to employee management and hiring. Those include administering necessary benefits and ensuring proper employee and tax regulations compliance.

ADP TotalSource's one-stop software solution collaborates with and incorporates all employee benefits services and HR management functions. This solution assures increased efficiency, the greatest possible savings, and the peace of mind you need to operate your business efficiently. The following are some of the most significant benefits of TotalSource:

  • You no longer have to be on your own, as you can share all your responsibilities with an authority of experts on employment risk and what comes with it
  • You get expert advice and consultation from a professional HR business partner who is wholly dedicated to helping your business in all the ways possible. You will get help in managing your employees, making the right business decisions for the growth of your company, and choosing the right, most cost-effective benefits
  • You get the chance to choose and optimize your benefits and any other employee services through the ADP TotalSource procurement model
  • You're able to utilize ADP's flexible technology platform to scale up or down with almost zero impact on your company's infrastructure

All these benefits can help small and mid-sized companies grow and leave behind the burden of administrative work that keeps business owners from focusing on what matters for their companies. In fact, larger companies are considering PEO services more and more these days because they can truly decrease risks and allow them to place more focus on their expansion efforts.

What Are Business Users Saying About TotalSource?

ADP is a well-known company with a rich, prestigious history of supporting businesses. They are generally well-regarded and reviewed, garnering a 4.2 out of 5 on Capterra and a 4.4 out of 5 on G2. On the other hand, they get a lower score of 6.2 out of 10 on TrustRadius, although that is based on a much smaller sample of older reviews.


Much of what others have to say about ADP TotalSource centers on their software's usability. While many praise TotalSource's helpfulness, the general impression is that their software is somewhat difficult to set up and use and comes with a steeper learning curve. Some users indicate that it takes a while to integrate the system into their workflow, which may create gaps in reporting and liabilities. Others state that their technology suite seems outdated and "bland," as well as initially confusing and not user-friendly with regard to the onboarding process and report writing.

Many state that the ease of use does increase as time goes by, however, especially because they are always able to contact ADP experts online for guidance. Many others did find the software fairly easy and convenient for their requirements because it increased their efficiency and level of organization, and they did not care that the graphical user interface was simpler than that of competitors.

Guidance and support

Many reviewers praise TotalSource for their expert support personnel, such as the HRBP. However, some reviewers warn that not all HR experts are equally as helpful, which is especially important to note as you may be assigned different ones over time because of their high job turnover. Their customers generally appreciate the quality of ADP's customer service, which is always available to answer questions quickly and thoroughly.

Some current users point to ADP's size and support infrastructure as the reason they switched to them. Those users found their system comprehensive and intuitive, contrary to what others have said, because they could turn to the company's many helpful staff online and by phone.

Is it worth it?

Some customers do mention the high fees as a drawback, although they curiously don't state the exact amounts they are paying. That being said, most seem to agree that it is worth it for the amount and level of services that they get, all in one convenient place. Some long-term customers had issues with payroll taking longer than desired, but they note that ADP has improved system efficiency over time. In fact, newer customers, even those who otherwise disliked the provider, generally praised TotalSource's smooth, timely payroll processing for employees in multiple locations and states.

ADP TotalSource responds to feedback when possible, whether positive or negative, and does seem to take constructive criticism into consideration. Their replies are brief and appreciative; if a follow-up is warranted, they do so promptly through private channels.

Customer Support

There are multiple customer service options that ADP offers for the sake of providing users with the best support needed to run their businesses, although all of these options are available to all clients of ADP, not TotalSource in particular. You can make use of the automatic phone support at any time, whether you are an employee or a company administrator.

Employees needing help with their pay information or benefits issues can contact support through the mobile app. If they do not have the app and need 401(k) help, they can go to the 401(k) plan page. If they need W2 assistance, payroll support, or any other type of help, they can access it on the system webpage.

Administrators with common inquiries can access the FAQ, which will have proper email addresses to contact, and can also access it through their product or ADP's portal.

Final Words

ADP TotalSource may be one of the best options for business owners looking for a comprehensive solution combining HR management tools, recruiter and applicant tracking, and employee benefits services in one software interface. This service is especially useful for small or medium-sized businesses. It empowers employees in those smaller companies to handle more of their benefits and payroll issues independently, such as setting up direct deposits, which frees up administrators for other business concerns. That being said, it provides advanced, cost-effective features that work for all sizes of businesses.

Their prices might be higher than those of other providers, which might be out of reach for some smaller businesses. However, those same businesses might benefit from their full-featured co-employment and human resources services, as backed by a large, reputable company. Most ADP TotalSource clients attest to the provider's dedicated support staff, generally punctual payroll and benefits processing, and responsive expert HR and payroll team members—even if many find their software to be somewhat dated.

That being said, you should read about other PEO providers, like Justworks or Paychex, and find out if there is a better fit for your company. You can also use our comparison tool to get an overall picture of other providers' pros, cons, and features.

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