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ADP Review

Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley
Staff writer
business.com Staff
Updated Nov 14, 2022

ADP is a major human resources (HR) service provider that offers a wide breadth of services in all 50 states. Businesses of any size can partner with ADP as a human resource outsourcing (HRO) provider to receive services like payroll processing and tax administration, workplace safety training, and employee training and development. One of ADP’s most valuable services is its ability to administer top-of-the-line employee benefits (e.g., health insurance, 401(k) retirement savings plans, student loan repayment programs, family leave, flexible working arrangements and workers’ compensation). ADP’s dashboard is easy to use, and the platform can be integrated with more than 550 third-party applications. It is our choice as the best HRO service for benefits administration.

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ADP

The Verdict

ADP TotalSource offers a variety of HR, benefits and payroll services, as well as extensive customer support resources. ADP earned our pick for best customer service PEO and best HRO benefits administrator.

ADP HRO Editor’s Score: 9.3/10

Price/value9.0
Features9.4
Expertise9.5
Ease of use9.5
Customer service8.9

Why We Chose ADP for Benefits Administration

After reviewing all of the top HR outsourcing solutions, we were especially pleased with ADP’s benefits administration capabilities. The company is one of the most comprehensive benefits administrators on the market. Not only does it offer a wealth of Fortune 500-level benefits for employers to choose from, but it also connects you with nationally recognized carriers with affordable rates. Since the ADP platform and mobile apps are intuitive, employees can easily manage their benefits from any location. This flexibility has become especially important as more companies employ a distributed workforce.

Staying up to date with federal, state and local employment laws can be difficult for any employer. We like that ADP helps employers stay on top of important laws and regulations pertaining to employee benefits. For example, ADP can help you comply with leave laws, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

What We Liked

  • ADP offers comprehensive benefits at affordable rates.
  • The ADP platform is intuitive and easy to navigate.
  • ADP offers dedicated customer support.
  • ADP is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating.

What We Didn’t Like

  • ADP doesn’t list its HRO pricing online.
  • ADP has a minimum-employee requirement.

Ease of Use

When testing out ADP, we found the platform simple to use and understand. ADP’s Workforce Now technology suite includes access to services like HR management, payroll processing, benefit administration and compliance. When we navigated the ADP dashboard and mobile apps, we thought they were intuitive and comprehensive for employers and employees. To make matters easier, ADP can integrate with more than 550 third-party applications, so there is a good chance that many of your business’s existing programs can sync with ADP’s software.

ADP can fill almost any HR need your business has. It can significantly simplify your risk and compliance needs. Instead of relying on one HR manager to ensure your business is adhering to rules and regulations, you can rely on ADP to guide you through the legal ins and outs of HR. It also offers integrated data and reporting so you can get a clear view of how your company is operating.

ADP custom reporting

ADP offers standard and custom reports. Source: ADP

Did you know? With ADP, you can view over 300 valuable reports that provide insight into your employees and company.

ADP Features

ADP offers a variety of HRO services, including payroll processing, payroll tax administration, HR policy development, employee recruiting and onboarding, and employee benefits administration. Here’s more about what your business gets when you sign up with ADP.

Employee Benefits Administration

One of the highlights of ADP’s HRO offering is its employee benefits offering. As one of the largest HR support providers in the nation, ADP has access to top benefit options that you can offer to your employees, such as health, dental, vision and life insurance; paid time off; retirement savings plans; paid family and medical leave; flexible work scheduling; tuition reimbursement; and financial wellness services. It also offers workers’ compensation insurance, an employee assistance program, and a compliance and learning curriculum.

ADP benefit enrollment

ADP makes benefits enrollment simple. Source: ADP

We like that ADP has an intuitive online platform and simple dashboards, where employees can view their benefits and make adjustments when needed. ADP also offers MyLife Advisors, which guides employees through making the right benefits choices. Since benefits administration and accuracy are essential, we like how ADP offers benefits invoice reconciliation and benefits invoice discrepancy reporting.

HR Services

ADP can align your recruiting process with your company mission and values, and then help you attract, hire and onboard the best candidates. In addition, they can help retain top talent by offering professional development opportunities, analyzing and adjusting compensation strategies, and measuring employee engagement and turnover metrics to see where your business can improve. If needed, you can add ADP’s full-service recruitment and resume search service by ADP-certified recruiters. This isn’t something we saw many competitors offer.

ADP also handles routine administrative HR tasks, allowing your HR staff to focus on other matters within your organization. This can increase overall employee engagement, productivity and company culture.

ADP recruitment screen

ADP can help you recruit and hire top talent. Source: ADP

Payroll and Taxes

ADP is a major payroll and tax service provider. It offers essential pay services like payroll administration and processing, multiple payment options (direct deposit, pay cards, and check signing and stuffing), W-2s and 1099s, payroll tax filing, new-hire reporting, state unemployment insurance (SUI) management, wage garnishments, PTO accrual, pay adjustments (proactive and retroactive), and payroll reporting. Employees and managers can access pertinent, real-time pay information from an online dashboard or mobile app.

An aspect of ADP that we particularly like is its ability to help employers stay compliant with pay laws. For example, it offers quarter- and year-end coordination and administration, periodic reviews of pay-related action items, and payroll compliance validations. It can also perform an audit on each payroll run before submission and provide notifications about federal and state tax and regulatory changes.

Risk and Compliance

HR management is a large and complicated responsibility, and it can be especially challenging if you have only one HR manager. In addition, there are labor and employment laws that businesses need to be fluent in to ensure they comply with those rules. This is where ADP comes in.

For example, ADP offers essential employee training on important topics, such as safety awareness and online compliance. In addition, by monitoring your HR policies, ADP can help you stay compliant with wage and hour laws, leave laws, and OSHA, ACA, and COBRA regulations. Regardless of which stage of business your company is in, ADP can help you adhere to HR rules and regulations in all 50 states. You can quickly connect with risk and compliance experts to be guided through federal, state and local guidelines.

Employee Training and Development

ADP can help manage performance, knowledge, skill sets and engagement among your employees. With performance management capabilities, you can align employee performance with company and team goals, provide continuous feedback, conduct regular check-ins and reviews, and view employee strengths and weaknesses.

The company also offers on-site and virtual training sessions to help your business maintain legal compliance, as well as improve employees’ knowledge and skills. Access to a valuable employee development program not only equips you with a better staff, but it can also increase employee engagement, reduce employee turnover and minimize risk for your organization.

ADP’s Comprehensive HR plan includes its core learning platform, which has more than 80 compliance and safety courses and more than 125 educational professional development videos. You can also add on leadership development training as well as a premium learning package with more than 600 courses, 1,200 videos and 35 curated digital books.

ADP online learning resources

ADP offers several online learning resources. Source: ADP

ADP Pricing and Terms

ADP offers three primary outsourcing plans: Comprehensive HR, Comprehensive Benefits and Comprehensive Pay. While some HR items come bundled, there are a-la-carte choices as well so that businesses can select the outsourcing features most applicable to their business.

Some of the optional add-on services and features include:

  • Third-party integrations through ADP Marketplace and custom APIs
  • ADP DataCloud (enhanced data insights and benchmarking)
  • ADP time and attendance
  • Talent management (recruitment, performance and compensation)
  • Full-service recruitment and resume search service
  • Premium learning package
  • Leadership development
  • Affirmative action planning
  • Employee leave administration
  • Unemployment compensation management

ADP HRO contracts are flexible and can range from month-to-month to multiyear terms, depending on the size of your company and the features you are interested in. Since HRO plans are customized to your business, you will need to speak with a representative for a price quote.

Bottom line: ADP offers custom pricing based on the number of employees you have and the specific services you need. Contact ADP to discuss your options.

Implementation and Onboarding

The first step to implementing ADP is to reach out to a representative to establish the best HR outsourcing plan for your business. Traditional outsourced plans include essential HR features like payroll processing, benefits administration and compliance assistance. However, you can also opt for ADP’s many add-on functions, including ADP Marketplace, a feature that allows you to integrate ADP with several other business platforms.

Once you’ve determined a plan that meets your needs, you work closely with your ADP representatives to set up your account. You can add employee data into the platform, set up employee benefits, create company policies and more. We found ADP’s implementation process to be on par with industry standards.

Customer Service

One thing we like about ADP is that it offers one-on-one support. You are assigned a strategic account manager, and ADP hosts quarterly business reviews with you. Dedicated representatives can also help with day-to-day HR functions and answer any HR-related questions. This can include specialists and consultants who focus on payroll, benefits, open enrollment, workplace safety, talent and service delivery. This level of support is competitive with other providers in the industry.

ADP also has a resource center specifically designed for small businesses, as well as one for medium and large organizations. You can access online resources like a glossary, calculators, tax guides and forms, and webinars, similar to what other competitors offer.

Limitations

One potential limitation is that ADP does not list its pricing for HRO services online. Instead, it creates customized plans for each business, so you will need to contact ADP for a quote. Although this is becoming a trend in the industry, it can pose a limitation for a business owner who wants an immediate estimate of how much a service might cost them. Check out our review of Zenefits HRO if you are interested in an HR solution with transparent online pricing.

Another possible setback is ADP’s customer support. Although it provides several targeted support reps, it doesn’t offer live chat support. Although live chat support isn’t always necessary, it can be a useful resource to get your HR questions answered immediately. If live chat and customer support are important to you, check out our TriNet HRO review.

Methodology

We researched and analyzed dozens of HRO providers to identify the best ones on the market. We looked at pricing, contract requirements, bundled vs. a-la-carte features, benefits administration, payroll processing and taxes, time-tracking capabilities, administrative HR functions, recruitment and talent management features, legal risk and compliance assistance, available integrations, and customer service. We watched product videos and conducted demos when possible. When looking for the best HRO solution for benefits administration, we prioritized the variety of benefits options, benefits administration, usability, user interface and compliance assistance.

FAQ

Does ADP pay weekly?

Yes, businesses can pay their employees weekly with ADP’s HR outsourcing service. ADP allows businesses to provide each employee between 12 and 52 paychecks per year. The exact number of paychecks will depend on your specific business and state requirements. Common pay schedules include weekly (52 paycheck per year), bi-weekly (26-27 paychecks per year), and semi-monthly (24 paychecks per year).

What is the difference between ADP and ADP TotalSource?

ADP is a comprehensive HR solution that offers various HR services, including payroll processing, tax administration, employee benefits administration, time and attendance tracking, administrative HR functions, and legal compliance assistance. These services are available through general HR outsourcing plans as well as professional employer organization (PEO) arrangements. The main difference in plans is that ADP’s PEO plan, ADP TotalSource, uses a co-employment model.

Bottom Line

We recommend ADP for …

  • Companies that want competitive, comprehensive employee benefits.
  • Companies that want an intuitive benefits administration process.
  • Companies looking for an HRO with an intuitive user interface.

We don’t recommend ADP for …

  • Companies that want to see HRO pricing online.
  • Companies that want live chat support.
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ADP

The Verdict

ADP TotalSource offers a variety of HR, benefits and payroll services, as well as extensive customer support resources. ADP earned our pick for best customer service PEO and best HRO benefits administrator.

Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley
business.com Staff
Skye Schooley is a human resources writer at business.com and Business News Daily, where she has researched and written more than 300 articles on HR-focused topics including human resources operations, management leadership, and HR technology. In addition to researching and analyzing products and services that help business owners run a smoother human resources department, such as HR software, PEOs, HROs, employee monitoring software and time and attendance systems, Skye investigates and writes on topics aimed at building better professional culture, like protecting employee privacy, managing human capital, improving communication, and fostering workplace diversity and culture.