Many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) turn to a professional employer organization (PEO) to help with their human resources functions. TriNet and ADP are leading PEOs that use a co-employment model to provide employee recruitment and onboarding, payroll processing and tax filing, benefits administration, performance management, regulatory compliance assistance, and more. We’ll compare their pricing, HR services, payroll, benefits administration, usability and customer support to help businesses choose the best PEO for their needs.
TriNet and ADP are among the best PEO services around; both are certified by the Employer Services Assurance Corp. (ESAC) and the IRS. However, these solutions have differences, so the best choice for your business will depend on your specific HR needs.
Starting monthly price
Custom pricing with add-on options
Payroll and benefits administration
In-house (payroll is required)
In-house (payroll is required)
Ease of use
Intuitive and user-friendly
Intuitive and user-friendly
Phone, email, live chat, HR experts, industry-specific specialists
Phone, email, HR experts
TriNet is an ideal PEO for businesses with fewer than 250 employees. TriNet can connect your organization with industry-specific support representatives, making it an excellent fit for businesses seeking specialized guidance. It’s also a great choice for companies in highly regulated industries, like finance or healthcare. If you’re looking for a bundled HR solution, this PEO covers essential HR functions, like employee recruitment, payroll processing and tax filing, employee benefits administration, HR compliance guidance, and employee development. Learn more about TriNet’s offerings in our detailed TriNet review.
ADP is a powerhouse PEO that can meet the needs of SMBs seeking a comprehensive HR solution with a wide range of HR features and add-ons. Because ADP doesn’t require you to bundle features, it’s a great fit for growing businesses and companies looking for a flexible HR provider. Your business can partner with ADP as a PEO, human resources outsourcing provider (HRO) or stand-alone HR platform. Read our in-depth ADP TotalSource review to learn about the solution’s available features, including comprehensive and affordable employee benefits.
Here’s how TriNet and ADP compare in pricing, HR services, payroll and benefits administration, customer service and usability.
Both TriNet and ADP require potential customers to contact them for a custom quote.
TriNet does not list its pricing online, which is relatively common in the PEO industry. Instead, it offers monthly pricing based on your needs.
Here is some notable TriNet pricing information:
ADP outlines its payroll and PEO plans online. However, like TriNet, it doesn’t list its prices.
Here is some notable ADP pricing information:
This category is a tie. Both companies require an industry-standard five-employee minimum, and both offer flexible contracts. TriNet has a bundled pricing model, which is ideal for small businesses looking to minimize HR costs as they grow. ADP also offers bundled pricing but has optional stand-alone products and add-ons. This feature flexibility may benefit businesses seeking a customized solution, but the costs can increase rapidly if you need many add-ons.
HR services are crucial considerations. Here’s how TriNet and ADP stack up.
TriNet’s internal applicant tracking system helps businesses hire the right employees. Source: TriNet
Both TriNet and ADP offer full-service PEO plans. However, ADP’s additional services make it stand out. In addition to standard HR services such as recruitment, payroll and benefits administration, ADP offers time and attendance, business insurance, compliance services and hundreds of third-party integrations. We especially like that you can partner with ADP through a PEO or HRO model.
Here’s how TriNet’s and ADP’s payroll and benefits administration offerings compare.
TriNet and ADP both offer in-house payroll processing, tax filing and employee benefits administration. However, we found ADP’s offerings to be slightly more comprehensive. We like that ADP offers audit and reconciliation services, full-service garnishments, multi-jurisdiction payroll, and state unemployment insurance management. Instead of automatically bundling all payroll features into one plan, ADP allows users to select from a range of tiered payroll plans. We were also impressed with ADP’s robust benefits administration.
Users can easily customize ADP’s Benefits Dashboard to display the most helpful information. Source: ADP
Your platform should be intuitive and easy to navigate. Here’s how TriNet and ADP compare.
Although both platforms are relatively user-friendly, we found TriNet a bit more intuitive and easier to use. We also like that the vendor offers industry-specific support, helping businesses get the most out of the software and service. We also like that employees can access the TriNet platform via iOS and Android mobile apps, lending to its overall accessibility and usability.
The ability to contact your PEO is essential. Here’s how TriNet and ADP handle customer support.
This round was close, as both TriNet and ADP offer expert HR support. We like that both companies are ESAC-certified and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. However, we found TriNet’s customer service slightly better because it offers industry-specific support. This is ideal for businesses that operate in highly regulated or complex industries, like finance and healthcare.
Users can access many helpful links and support resources from the ADP dashboard. Source: ADP
TriNet and ADP are worthy PEO options for many businesses. We recommend these vendors for employers with the following needs:
TriNet is an excellent option for employers that want a PEO that offers industry-specific support. It’s also a great choice for small businesses seeking a PEO with an intuitive HR platform.
ADP is the best PEO option for SMBs seeking a vendor with comprehensive and flexible HR features. It’s also a great choice for any organization that needs comprehensive employee benefits.
TriNet commonly competes with other popular PEOs, including ADP, Insperity, Justworks, Paychex and Rippling.
TriNet can take an average of about two weeks to implement. However, the exact implementation time for your business will depend on factors such as the employee count and features needed.
Yes. ADP has been recognized as a certified professional employer organization (CPEO) for many years. To become a CPEO, a PEO must satisfy multiple IRS compliance and financial requirements.
No. While you can sign up for ADP as a payroll provider, ADP also functions as a full-service HR solution. The company offers various plans, including stand-alone payroll, payroll and HR, HR outsourcing, and a PEO.