ADP vs Paychex: Which Is the Best for Your Business

ADP and Paychex are two eerily similar payroll software solutions, so it can be difficult to choose between them at a glance. That’s why, in this article, we’ll take a look at their core features, pricing, integration capabilities, and customer reviews to help you make an informed choice for your business.

From our testing, we found ADP to have the edge over Paychex thanks to it being a stable platform with solid integrations and the capability to grow with your business.

ADP vs Paychex At a Glance

Payroll Software ADP Paychex
Starting Price Custom quote $39/month + $5/month per employee
Free Plan
Tax Filing Automated tax filing for state, federal, and most local payroll taxes Automated tax filing for state, federal, and local payroll taxes
Employee Benefits Management Retirement, workers’ comp, and health insurance as paid add-ons Health insurance, retirement plans, and voluntary benefits as paid add-ons
Employee Portal Employee ADP access included with all pricing tiers Self-service portal and mobile access with all pricing tiers
Integrations QuickBooks, Wave, Xero, Workday, Sage, FinancialForce, Deputy, ZipRecruiter, etc. BambooHR, Connecteam, Deputy, Indeed, QuickBooks, 7Shifts, etc.
General HR Onboarding, background checks, employee handbooks, HR help desk, ATS, LMS Onboarding, employee handbook builder, applicant tracking, performance management, document management
Customer Support Live Chat, virtual assistant, phone support 24/7 phone, email, and chat support
Read Review In-depth ADP payroll review In-depth Paychex payroll review

ADP vs Paychex Pricing Compared

ADP doesn’t publish its pricing, so you’ll have to contact the company to receive a custom quote. There are four different pricing plans, and according to user reports on review sites, the cost of the platform aligns with the industry average.

The potential benefit of the custom pricing is that you might get a discount if you intend to run payroll for a large number of employees. As a reference, when we did our ADP payroll review we received a quote for $59/month + $4/employee for their Essential plan.

Paychex offers three pricing plans, with the basic tier being priced at $39/month + $5/month per employee. However, there are a ton of add-ons that aren’t included with the platform, so the final price might be considerably higher.

Paychex Pricing Plans:

  • Essentials — From $39/month + $5/month per employee.
  • Select — Custom quote
  • Pro — Custom quote

All in all, you’d have to contact both companies to receive a custom quote and get a better idea of how their monthly costs compare.

ADP vs Paychex Ease of Use

Winner: Paychex

Both platforms are very intuitive and relatively simple to use. ADP’s navigation is excellent, given that you have quick access to payroll, tax, and HR menus through shortcuts, as well as a to-do list with a calendar and all upcoming payroll runs. That said, Paychex displays all key payroll data, including the total labor costs for the current payroll run. Additionally, Paychex makes it easier to add new employees to the payroll, with a simple click of a button on the payroll page.

An added benefit of Paychex over ADP is that it allows you to rearrange the elements on the dashboard. You can move the center grid, layout, and filters to adjust them to your liking and process the payroll in your preferred way.

The one advantage ADP offers is flagging employee records that require your attention before payroll is processed. This lets you know what employees you need to focus on when reviewing their hours worked, paid time off, bonuses, commissions, or deductions, to ensure that everyone gets paid the correct amount.

Still, Paychex is more intuitive overall and you’ll definitely appreciate the fact that you have a clear overview of all the key payroll information on the dashboard, as soon as you log in.

ADP vs Paychex Key Features

Winner: Tied

Paychex has a slight advantage over ADP when it comes to the platform’s core features, mostly due to its flexible payment options and pay-on-demand functionality. It also features a built-in ATS, helping streamline your hiring workflows and improving candidate communication.

That said, ADP has its advantages as well, the most notable being taking full liability for any tax filing errors.

Let’s take a closer look at the payroll, tax filing, time & attendance, and onboarding functionalities of the two platforms and see how they compare in detail.

Payroll

With ADP, you can fully automate payroll for employees on direct deposits. You can set everything up online or via the mobile app, and the money will be automatically deposited to each employee’s account on payday.

Paychex offers a bit more flexibility since it supports direct deposits, pay cards, and check printing. It even enables you to offer pay-on-demand and let employees access their earned wages before the pay date. Paychex also supports automatic tip disbursement for tipped employees, so it’s a better solution for the hospitality industry.

Tax Filing

Both ADP and Paychex will automatically calculate and file your federal, state, and local payroll taxes. The services both include the creation and delivery of W-2s and 1099s, so your payroll taxes for full-time employees and contractors are fully covered.

One major difference between the two providers is that ADP will respond to any inquiries from tax agencies in your stead and will cover any fines or penalties resulting from a possible tax filing error the company makes. This guarantee gives ADP a slight edge.

Time and Attendance

Regardless of which provider you opt for, you’ll have to pay extra for time and attendance since both ADP and Paychex treat this functionality as a paid add-on.

Paychex offers a touchless clock-in solution and helps you easily track time and manage schedules. ADP goes a step further and also allows you to track time off, which is essential when calculating payroll for both salaried employees and hourly workers.

Hiring and Onboarding

In addition to payroll, both ADP and Paychex offer essential tools that help streamline hiring and new hire onboarding.

ADP makes it easy to post on over 100 job boards with a single click, lets you run background checks, and features a new hire checklist that helps them self-onboard.

Paychex, on the other hand, offers native integrations with multiple popular job boards, greatly simplifying your hiring workflow. It also features pre-employment screening and a built-in ATS (Applicant Tracking System). It also helps you standardize job posting and interview scheduling, as well as helps improve communication with prospective candidates.

ADP vs Paychex Integrations

Winner: ADP

Both platforms have incredible integration capabilities, integrating with over 300+ HR, time and attendance, accounting, ERP, LMS, and other apps and tools.

What’s notable is that Paychex integrates with a variety of POS (Point of Sale) systems, so it might be a better fit for bars and restaurants.

On the other hand, ADP offers more industry-specific integrations, so it’s a better option for consulting agencies, construction companies, manufacturing businesses, and education establishments.

ADP vs Paychex Scalability

Winner: ADP

Both Paychex and ADP are highly flexible and easily scalable payroll solutions that can be customized according to your business needs. As your business grows, you’ll be able to easily add new users to your account or upscale to a more expensive pricing plan if you need access to advanced features, as well as include add-ons down the road.

In addition to payroll, both platforms offer hiring, benefits administration, and a slew of general HR features and functionalities. The one distinction between the two is that ADP offers a dedicated HCM (Human Capital Management) solution for businesses with over 1,000 employees, so it’s a slightly better fit for large enterprises with international teams.

ADP vs Paychex Customer Reviews

Both ADP and Paychex have mixed user reviews across a variety of popular, trusted third-party review sites.

When it comes to ADP, users often praise the platform’s ease of use, the speed and accuracy of payroll processing, and the platform’s reporting capabilities. The biggest downside of the platform, according to user reviews, is the customer support. Many users state they’ve had to talk to half a dozen support agents to have their issues resolved.

A customer's review of ADP

Paychex is universally praised by users for its customizability, time-tracking capabilities, ease of use, and overall value for money the platform provides.

A customer's review of Paychex

That said, a large number of users have complained about Paychex’s high customer rep turnover, and the overall unresponsiveness of the customer support. Users also note a variety of technical issues with the platform and unexpected charges, which often take weeks to resolve.

Conclusion — ADP vs Paychex Which One Wins?

On paper, the two platforms are quite similar. Both ADP and Paychex streamline payroll, automate tax filing, let you track time and attendance, and offer a myriad of useful general HR functionalities.

In practice, ADP has a major advantage since the platform is more stable and reliable. With frequent technical issues and slow-to-respond customer support, Paychex still has a long way to go if it wants to compete with the best payroll software on the market.

Click the button below to get a free ADP quote and see first-hand how it can help transform the way you run your business.

How We Test Payroll Software

  • Pricing — The available pricing plans and add-ons, and the overall value for money the platform offers.
  • Features — All of the key payroll features, as well as additional HR functionalities businesses of different sizes can benefit from.
  • Integrations — The number of available integrations with third-party software, and the availability of an API (Application Programming Interface) for custom integrations.
  • Automation — Payroll automation and scheduling, automated tax calculations and filing, and other automations that facilitate administrative work and free up valuable time.
  • Ease of use — The platform’s UI and navigation, and the overall ease of use.
  • Third-Party Reviews — Customer reviews on reputable third-party review sites, with an emphasis on the most commonly mentioned advantages and drawbacks.

How to Choose the Best Payroll Software

Here are the key criteria that you should consider when choosing the best payroll software for your business:

  • Budget — What’s your monthly budget for the payroll software and what features must it have on a pricing plan you can afford to be cost-effective?
  • Key features — What core features and functionalities do you need to ensure that all your payroll-related needs are met?
  • Ease of use — How intuitive and easy-to-use must the platform be to ensure that your accounting department and your team can effectively utilize it?
  • Scalability — Does the platform allow you to easily add new users to your account, throw add-ons into the mix later down the line, and upscale to a more expensive pricing tier?
  • Customer support — The availability of customer support, their average response time, and the level of technical knowledge of the platform’s support agents.

FAQs

What’s better Paychex or ADP?

Who is ADP’s biggest competitor?

Is ADP the best for payroll?

Why should I use Paychex?

Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…