In-Depth ADP Payroll Review 2024: Features, Pricing, Pros & Cons

Our Verdict

A market leader with excellent, expansive features across payroll and HR

ADP is an outstanding payroll and HR platform for established and fast-growing businesses, especially those that operate in multiple countries. With powerful automation options, end-to-end recruitment management, and expert compliance support, ADP is a one-stop-shop for busy HR professionals looking to streamline and simplify operations.

Pros

  • Automated payroll and tax filing features
  • Excellent health and retirement plan options
  • Expansive range of features
  • Supports multiple currencies and countries

Cons

  • Expensive for small businesses
  • Pricing structures aren't transparent
  • Complex to use for entry-level HR personnel

ADP Plans & Pricing

If you’re looking for an all-in-one HR and payroll platform, ADP is a great option. This powerhouse of a provider serves over one million customers–and it’s easy to see why. As you’ll discover in this ADP payroll review, ADP’s payroll packages certainly pack a punch.

With a huge range of features, robust analytics capabilities, and excellent compliance and tax automation, ADP is a solid choice for fast-growing organizations and large businesses. Here, we’ll dive into ADP payroll in-depth, looking at its price, features, and more in comparison to other leading payroll providers.

Essential payroll Enhanced payroll Complete payroll + HR HR Pro Payroll + HR
Monthly Cost Custom Custom Custom Custom
Free Trial ✅ – 3 months ✅ – 3 months ✅ – 3 months ✅ – 3 months
PTO Management ✅ for an additional fee ✅ for an additional fee ✅ for an additional fee ✅ for an additional fee
Expense Management ❌ (only via SAP Concur integration) ❌ (only via SAP Concur integration) ❌ (only via SAP Concur integration) ❌ (only via SAP Concur integration)
Reporting Custom reporting Custom reporting Custom reporting Custom reporting
Customer Support Phone support Monday – Friday, chat support 24/7 Phone support Monday – Friday, chat support 24/7 Phone support Monday – Friday, chat support 24/7 Phone support Monday – Friday, chat support 24/7

While payroll providers like Gusto and Paychex offer transparent pricing tiers, the cost of ADP’s offerings is opaque. This is likely because of the amount of customization options offered in each plan, which makes it difficult to provide a straight figure for each tier.

For our review, we tested out the Essential payroll plan, which, for us, started at $59 per month, plus $4 per employee we added to the plan.

All customers get a free three-month trial period when they sign up, too, which is great if you want to test out the platform before committing fully.

Compared to Gusto and OnPay, ADP’s basic plan is undeniably expensive. However, the platform has some unique selling points that its competitors can’t match. For one, ADP is a global payroll provider, meaning you can pay employees in multiple countries and in different currencies. Gusto and OnPay don’t have this feature.

ADP’s HR features are also unrivaled–although they do cost extra. With job costing functionality, recruitment features, and in-depth HR training, ADP can essentially become your all-in-one payroll and HR solution. In our view, this makes ADP a fantastic option for established, larger organizations looking to streamline HR management.

We also like that ADP is highly scalable. If you’re a startup simply looking to automate the payroll process, ADP’s essential plan is perfect. Then, as you grow, you can look to add HR and talent features by elevating to the next tier.

Essential Payroll

Essential Payroll

ADP’s essential payroll tier is a great option for growing organizations looking to automate the payroll process. With this plan, you’ll get access to a range of payroll, reporting, and tax features. As a nice touch, the essential payroll plan also includes onboarding features and new hire reporting to help with recruitment.

While the essential payroll tier lacks HR features, its automations are excellent. We loved the auto-pay feature, which allows you to automate the process of paying salaried employees each month. ADP also takes care of all W2s, 1099s, and tax filings for you, which is a huge burden lifted.

Enhanced Payroll

Enhanced Payroll

The enhanced payroll plan has all the features of essential payroll, plus a couple of additions. With this plan, you’ll unlock the job costing feature, which is useful if you’re in the construction or professional services industries.

This plan also features ADP’s ZipRecruiter, which makes it quick and simple for you to post a position across hundreds of job boards.

Complete Payroll + HR

Complete Payroll + HR

While it’s likely to be quite expensive, it’s with this plan that ADP really comes into its own. On top of the first-class payroll suite, you’ll get access to ADP’s HR services. The features in this plan include a dedicated HR help desk, an employee handbook creation tool, and a wealth of HR training and tools.

ADP’s HR offering is really impressive, effectively enabling you to lean on their experts to meet compliance requirements and simplify complex HR processes.

HR PRO Payroll + HR

HR Pro Payroll + HR

The Pro plan is similar to the complete payroll and HR plan, with a few extras. With this plan, you’ll get enhanced, personalized expert HR support–ADP’s team will even help you create your employee handbook.

On top of that, you get access to an applicant tracking feature to streamline the recruitment process and your very own learning management system, where you can assign employees training on topics like professional conduct, skills development and cybersecurity.

For established organizations, we can certainly see the benefits of opting for this plan, as it makes it simple to coordinate processes like training, recruitment, payroll and so on all in one place.

However, smaller organizations may find this plan a little overwhelming, with too many features and too high a price point for their needs.

ADP Payroll Overview

Starting price $59/month
Best for Established medium and large organizations, and multinational companies
Customer support Help desk, email, and chat support
App integrations QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage
Security & Compliance Certification to ISO 9001:2015, ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and ISO/IEC 27701:2019
Reporting & analytics
Mobile app
Auto-alerts and reminders
International Payroll Over 40 countries
Digital Payslips

Standout Features

To ensure we tested the platform thoroughly, we tried out ADP’s features over a month-long period–and we were impressed. With robust reporting capabilities, a standout benefits administration feature, and one of the best employee dashboards we’ve tested, there’s a lot to love about ADP payroll.

Here are the features to know about.

Automated payroll

Automate payrolll with ADP

ADP’s payroll dashboard is comprehensive and intuitive to use. We loved the central homepage, which gives an overview of priority actions, the next scheduled payroll, and a handy graph showing the total cost of recent payroll runs.

On top of that, ADP stands out for its auto-pay feature, which competitors like OnPay don’t have. With this feature, you can automate recurring payroll, so you don’t have to worry about manually approving everything each month.

Plus, while competitors require you to switch between different dashboards to pay employees and contractors, ADP allows you to pay both on the same screen, which is great for reducing time spent on administration.

HR Services

Manage the recruitment process with ADP's HR features

ADP’s HR features have been thoughtfully designed. If you opt for one of the higher plans, you’ll be able to manage the recruitment process end-to-end within the application, from posting a job with ZipRecruiter to conducting background checks and onboarding new hires.

While some HR software can be clunky and confusing to use, ADP’s user experience is sleek and simple. We found it easy to use all of the HR features, and can undoubtedly see the benefit of having all employee data stored in one secure, centralized platform.

We also liked that ADP proactively notified us about the HR compliance landscape via email and in-app. We can see how useful this function would be for HR teams trying to keep on top of minimum wage changes, recruitment laws, and so forth.

As well as this, we have to say that ADP’s HR support is second to none. When we contacted the customer support team, we found them to be highly professional and experienced–using the platform felt almost like having an outsourced HR partner.

Time and Attendance

Track your team's attendence and tasks with ADP's time dashboard

For an extra fee, you can access ADP’s time and attendance system, which is one of the best we’ve seen on the market and can be used in almost any sector. The employee scheduling feature, for example, would be a great asset for hospitality and retail companies, while the manager to-do list function makes it quick and simple for corporate line managers to review and approve PTO requests.

But what makes this feature stand out is its relationship with the ADP payroll function. With this addition activated, we didn’t have to manually calculate any overtime or deduct any sick leave for payroll–the platform automatically took care of everything.

Employee benefits

ADP’s benefits offering is a cut above the rest. While most competitors offer retirement plans and health insurance, the breadth of insurance partners ADP has relationships with means you’ll be spoilt for choice.

However, that’s not to say you’ll feel overwhelmed by the number of partners offered by ADP. The benefits platform also comes with advanced analytics capabilities, which help you to understand employee benefit preferences by different segments and look at enrollment performance.

Although there are plenty of reports to look through, they’re thoughtfully laid out and signposted, so the insights are easy to digest without feeling overloaded.

Employee self-service portal

Let your employee's view historical payroll data and manage their benefits with this feature

So far, we’ve talked about ADP from the administrator side, but we also want to give a nod to the employee dashboard, which is extremely user-friendly. Here, employees can easily and quickly check historical payroll data, book PTO, and manage their benefits through a few simple clicks.

More impressively, the portal is available on desktop and as a mobile app, making it easy for employees to review their profiles wherever they are. All in all, if you want an HR solution that your people will enjoy using, ADP is a great option.

Integrations

The sheer number of integrations ADP offers is impressive. Like its competitors, the company has partnered with big names like QuickBooks, Wave, and Xero for accounting. But it also offers integrations that its competitors are yet to match.

On the collaboration side, ADP boasts integrations with Microsoft Teams and Slack. There’s also plenty of integrations in the L&D, ERP recruitment spaces, including Oracle, SAP, and Jazz HR.

Clearly, ADP takes its commitment to integrations seriously–and this is a real selling point. By connecting different platforms, you can reduce employee friction and ensure your people use ADP to its full potential.

ADP Customer Reviews

We’ve been very impressed by ADP payroll. While it’s more expensive than other providers, it’s for good reason. The range of features and integrations offered are unparalleled.

However, that’s just our view. We also wanted to see what other users think of the platform. So, we took to TrustRadius and Gartner to gather real-world insights from ADP customers.

Across both review sites, users were complimentary about the accuracy and simplicity of ADP payroll, as well as praising the employee self-service portal. One downside that came up repeatedly was the level of customization when it comes to reports.

ADP gives users a lot of autonomy over how they create reports, which is a plus point, but some users would like more ready-to-go reporting templates.

A Review of ADP on G2

What is ADP Good For?

ADP is a great option for fast-growing businesses that want to streamline payroll and people management in one platform.

While small businesses may find ADP’s higher tier offerings have functionality that goes beyond their core needs, organizations that are keen to enhance the employee experience and attract talent will find ADP’s HR suite a valuable asset–all while making payroll automated and error-free.

ADP vs Top Competitors

ADP Paychex Rippling Papaya Global
Best for Multinational companies and organizations looking to scale Small and medium-sized businesses Companies looking for a complete finance, HR, and ERP platform Non-US companies
Starting Price $59/month + $4/employee $39/month + $5/employee Available on request $25/mo per employee
Free Trial
Standout Features – Excellent customer reports
– Next-level HR capabilities
– International payroll
– Multiple payment options
– 24/7 human support
– Robust integrations
– Highly customizable
– Thoughtful automations for admin tasks
– IT management features
– Coverage in 160 countries
– Localized employee benefits
– Excellent contractor payment suite
Reporting Custom reporting Custom reporting Custom reporting Custom reporting
Mobile App

ADP vs Paychex

ADP and Paychex target different customer bases. While ADP is perfect for established organizations, Paychex is a lower cost option for SMBs. Although Paychex offers some HR features alongside payroll, such as new hire reporting and PTO functionality, it doesn’t have the breadth of capabilities that ADP has.

ADP vs Rippling

ADP and Rippling are both powerful finance and HR platforms, offering highly customizable reports and plenty of automations that simplify the payroll process. Rippling, however, also steps into the IT game, offering functionality to help IT admins manage employees’ apps, devices, data, and security from the same interface used for HR and payroll.

However, this extra functionality comes at a cost. It might be unnecessary for organizations with just a few employees–especially as software like Microsoft 365 offers in-built capabilities to do the same thing.

ADP vs Papaya Global

ADP and Papaya Global both stand out for their international reach. Papaya, in particular, is a great option for countries that aren’t based primarily out of the US. Still, while Papaya’s approach to global compliance is excellent, ADP’s longstanding dominance in the US market means its HR and compliance expertise is second to none.

Verdict – is ADP Worth it?

ADP payroll is an outstanding finance and HR suite, with all the features medium and large organizations need to take control of payroll, elevate the employee experience, and manage recruitment.

While ADP is more expensive than providers like Gusto and Paychex, it’s for good reason. The platform’s depth and breadth of features are impressive–and sure to be an asset to any company looking to save time while meeting compliance.

How We Test Payroll Software

When we review payroll providers, we consider several key success factors, including:

  • Pricing – We contrast the price with other leading providers in the market to decide whether the platform is good value for money.
  • Features – We test the features in each plan, looking at speed, usability and functionality.
  • Integrations – We assess how well the platform integrates with other business applications.
  • Automation – We analyze how the platform uses automation to make users’ jobs easier.
  • Ease of use – We put ourselves in the shoes of someone new to payroll software, assessing how easy the platform is to use.
  • Third-Party Reviews – We combine our reviews with third-party reviews to bring you an unbiased, holistic take on the platform.

How to Choose the Best Payroll Software

Choosing payroll software is a big decision, and you want to make sure you pick the platform that best suits your needs. With that in mind, here are some critical factors to consider:

  • Price Look for a platform that is affordable both now and in the future. Look out for hidden costs and extras that could hike up the price.
  • FeaturesDoes the platform offer all of the features you need?
  • ScalabilityCan the platform grow with your business as you expand?
  • Ease of use – Is the platform intuitive? How long will the ramp-up time be?
  • Integrations – is the platform compatible with other workplace applications you use?
  • Customer support – Is customer support easily accessible and helpful?

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Hannah Pisani

Hannah Pisani is a seasoned writer with a keen focus on the intersection between technology and the evolving nature of work. Over the last five years, she has written content for numerous leading technology brands, including Microsoft, AWS and Oracle. She regularly contributes to international technology publications such as Silicon Angle, Cloudwards and Techopedia. Hannah's depth of knowledge encompasses HR software, cybersecurity, SaaS tools and marketing optimization. She thrives on leveraging her expertise to empower business leaders, guiding them towards informed decisions that optimize efficiency and drive productivity.