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Updated May 29, 2024

TriNet vs. ADP Comparison

The right HR solution can simplify your small business's HR processes. Here's how TriNet's and ADP's HR solutions compare.

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Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
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Table of Contents

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Trinet logo
Editor's Rating9.6/10
ADP logo
Editor's Rating9.4/10

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 you choose the best PEO for your needs.  

TriNet vs. ADP

TriNet vs. ADP Highlights

TriNet and ADP are among the best PEO services. 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. 

Feature

TriNet

ADP

Starting monthly price

Custom pricing

Custom pricing with add-on options

HR services

  • HR administration
  • Recruitment
  • Onboarding
  • Training
  • Document storage
  • Reporting
  • Risk and compliance
  • Termination
  • HR administration
  • Recruitment
  • Onboarding
  • Handbook creation
  • Training
  • Document management
  • Reporting
  • Risk and compliance
  • Unemployment claims administration
  • Workers’ comp and claims management
  • Workplace safety

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

Customer support

Phone, email, live chat, HR experts, industry-specific specialists

Phone, email, live chat, HR experts

Who Is TriNet For?

TriNet is an ideal PEO for businesses with fewer than 250 employees. TriNet can connect organizations 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, you’ll appreciate that 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.

It’s important to note that TriNet also offers stand-alone HR software without a PEO model.  Called TriNet HR Platform (formerly Zenefits), it is a user-friendly solution for many startups and SMBs. However, it currently includes different software and support than what you receive with TriNet’s PEO plan. For this article, we are comparing TriNet’s PEO solution with ADP’s.

Who Is ADP For?

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 (HRO) provider 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. 

FYIDid you know
ADP TotalSource refers to ADP's PEO offering. It's ideal for employers with up to 250 employees. ADP also provides HR and HRO services. In fact, ADP is considered among the best HR outsourcing services in the industry.

TriNet vs. ADP Comparison

Here’s how TriNet and ADP compare in pricing, HR services, payroll and benefits administration, customer service and usability.

Pricing and Plans

Both TriNet and ADP require potential customers to contact them for a custom quote. 

TriNet

TriNet does not list its PEO pricing online, which is relatively common in the PEO industry. Instead, it offers monthly pricing based on your needs.

Here’s some notable TriNet PEO pricing information: 

  • TriNet bundles its PEO features and charges a monthly fee per employee.
  • TriNet has a five-employee minimum.
  • TriNet doesn’t have long-term contracts. Users can cancel anytime by submitting a 30-day written notice.

ADP

ADP outlines its payroll and PEO plans online. However, like TriNet, it doesn’t list its prices.  

Here’s some notable ADP pricing information: 

  • Although ADP bundles many of its PEO features, it also offers add-ons.
  • ADP has a five-employee minimum.
  • Users can access ADP’s features through a PEO model, an HRO (without co-employment) or a general HR platform.
Best for Pricing
Tie
This category is a tie. Both companies require an industry-standard five-employee minimum and flexible contracts. TriNet has a bundled pricing model, which is ideal for small businesses that are 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 that want a customized solution, but the costs can increase rapidly if you need many add-ons.
Did You Know?Did you know
Standard PEO services include HR consulting and administration, payroll processing, health insurance and retirement packages.

HR Services

HR services are crucial considerations. Here’s how TriNet and ADP stack up.

TriNet

  • Recruitment features: TriNet has employee recruitment features, like job posting automation, custom hiring workflows and applicant tracking.
  • Additional HR services: TriNet provides other HR services, like employee onboarding and training, document management, performance management, compensation benchmarking and workforce analytics.
  • HR support: TriNet offers specialized HR support representatives to help navigate industry-specific HR compliance challenges.

TriNet applicant tracking

TriNet’s internal applicant tracking system helps businesses hire the right employees. Source: TriNet

TipBottom line
If you want a TriNet HR solution without the PEO model, read our review of TriNet's HR Platform (formerly Zenefits), which includes automated onboarding and employee management features.

ADP

  • Administrative HR features: ADP offers administrative HR functions, like handbook creation, document management and HR reporting.
  • Employee acquisition: ADP has employee acquisition features, like recruitment, onboarding, training, and talent management.
  • HR support: ADP can help you manage compliance risks with workplace safety training, workers’ compensation and claims management, employment verification, and unemployment claims management.
Best HR Services
ADP
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.

Payroll and Benefits Administration

Here’s how TriNet’s and ADP’s PEO payroll and benefits administration offerings compare.

TriNet

  • Payroll: Employers must use the vendor’s in-house payroll solution if they want to partner with TriNet PEO.
  • Payroll taxes: TriNet can assist with payroll tax filing; it offers employee e-pay stubs and electronic W-2 preparation and delivery.
  • Employee benefits: TriNet offers comprehensive employee benefits, including Affordable Care Act filings and COBRA administration.

ADP

  • Payroll: Employers must use the vendor’s in-house payroll solution if they want to partner with ADP as a PEO. ADP’s payroll solution is also available as a stand-alone product without a PEO arrangement. (Read our ADP payroll review to learn more.)
  • Payroll taxes: In addition to standard payroll tax filing, ADP offers business expense tax registration services.
  • Employee benefits: ADP is a leading PEO with some of the most comprehensive and affordable benefits.
Best for Payroll and Benefits Administration
ADP
Both TriNet and ADP offer in-house payroll processing, tax filing and employee benefits administration. However, we found ADP's offerings slightly more comprehensive. We like that ADP offers audit and reconciliation services, full-service garnishments, multijurisdiction 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. 
ADP benefits dashboard

Users can easily customize ADP’s Benefits Dashboard to display the most helpful information. Source: ADP

FYIDid you know
If you offer employee benefits through ADP, the costs are not automatically included in the price of your PEO plan. Your benefits provider will charge a separate fee.

Ease of Use

Your platform should be intuitive and easy to navigate. Here’s how TriNet PEO and ADP compare. 

TriNet

  • Intuitive platform: TriNet is an intuitive PEO platform that’s easy for users to implement and navigate.
  • Mobile apps: TriNet has iOS and Android mobile apps that your team can use to access employee self-service features.
  • HR reports: TriNet facilitates custom reports and has dozens of pre-built reports.

ADP

  • Customizable platform: ADP is a customizable HR platform. Businesses can create a solution that meets their needs.
  • Mobile apps: ADP has user-friendly iOS and Android mobile apps with positive user ratings.
  • Integrations: The ADP Marketplace can facilitate hundreds of seamless third-party integrations.
Best for Ease of Use
TriNet
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, which helps 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.
TriNet mobile app

TriNet has a user-friendly mobile app to help employees access pertinent information. Source: TriNet

Customer Support

The ability to contact your PEO is essential. Here’s how TriNet and ADP handle customer support.

TriNet

  • Support options: TriNet offers industry-specific phone, email and web chat HR support.
  • Additional support: Users can gain additional support 24/7 by adding Connect 360 to their PEO plan.
  • Employee assistance: Employees can get personal assistance with benefits enrollment through TriNet’s HealthAdvocate.

ADP

  • Support options: ADP offers phone, email and live chat support.
  • Additional support: ADP users can gain support from experienced HR professionals.
  • Employee assistance: Employers can contact their own dedicated HR representative.
Best for Customer Support
TriNet
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.
ADP dashboard

Users can access many helpful links and support resources from the ADP dashboard. Source: ADP

TriNet vs. ADP Summary

TriNet and ADP are worthy PEO options for many businesses. We recommend these vendors for employers with the following needs: 

TriNet is best for employers that need industry-specific support. 

TriNet is an excellent option for small to midsize employers that want a bundled PEO with industry-specific support. It’s also a great choice for small businesses that are seeking an intuitive HR platform.

ADP is best for employers that need comprehensive features. 

ADP is the best PEO option for SMBs that want a vendor with comprehensive and flexible HR features. It’s also a great choice for any organization that needs comprehensive employee benefits.

FAQs

TriNet commonly competes with other popular PEOs, including ADP, Insperity, Justworks, Paychex and Rippling.
TriNet takes 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.
ADP takes an average of two to four weeks to implement. However, the exact duration of implementation time will depend on factors such as your company's size and the features you need.
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.
Yes, TriNet has been recognized as a CPEO.
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.
author image
Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Skye Schooley is a dedicated business professional who is especially passionate about human resources and digital marketing. For more than a decade, she has helped clients navigate the employee recruitment and customer acquisition processes, ensuring small business owners have the knowledge they need to succeed and grow their companies. In recent years, Schooley has enjoyed evaluating and comparing HR software and other human resources solutions to help businesses find the tools and services that best suit their needs. With a degree in business communications, she excels at simplifying complicated subjects and interviewing business vendors and entrepreneurs to gain new insights. Her guidance spans various formats, including newsletters, long-form videos and YouTube Shorts, reflecting her commitment to providing valuable expertise in accessible ways.
Trinet logo
Editor's Rating9.6/10
ADP logo
Editor's Rating9.4/10
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