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ADP TotalSource Review

Matt D'Angelo
, writer
| Updated
Sep 20, 2019
Image Credit: fizkes / Getty Images
> Human Resources

ADP TotalSource is backed by a major organization, so partnering with ADP means you get top-of-the-line offerings at potentially lower costs than you'd see with some competitors. TotalSource offers payroll, compliance, risk management and HR outsourcing services. ADP is a national organization that serves all 50 states and can provide personalized service based on your region. In addition to its fantastic customer service, ADP's benefits offering is ideal for any small business seeking outsourced HR services. Thanks to its impressive offering, ADP is a double winner, earning our best pick for customer service in our PEO category and for benefits in our human resources outsourcing (HRO) category.

ADP TotalSource

ADP TotalSource

The Best HR Outsourcing Services of 2020

The Verdict

ADP TotalSource offers a wide variety of exemplary HR, benefits and payroll services. For that reason, ADP earned our pick for best customer service PEO and best HRO benefits administrator.

View all our recommendations for PEO services and HR outsourcing services on our best picks pages.

ADP is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, earning an A+ with the rating agency. Many of the PEOs we reviewed are not accredited or rated by the BBB. ADP is also certified the IRS and accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC). Both organizations have a rigorous review process. According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO), ADP's finances have been audited by an independent CPA within the last year.

Despite ADP's size, its customer service was stellar when we dealt with its team. Representatives readily answered questions over email and live chat, and they didn't push for a sale. Instead, they went out of their way to educate our hypothetical small business owner on what to look for in a PEO. They provided a brochure, a guide to ADP's most important points and services, and even a quote with limited information.

Editor's note: Looking for information on HR outsourcing options? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you with the information you need: 


Each representative we interacted with was pleasant, courteous and informative. ADP also offers various avenues for support, including phone, email, live chat and FAQs. It offers a sales live chat tool so you can ask specific questions about your business directly on the ADP website. For these reasons, ADP is our pick for the PEO with the best customer service.

Based on the scope and breadth of ADP's services, along with its excellent national reputation, it also earned our pick for best HRO benefits administrator.

ADP TotalSource Pricing and Terms

ADP works with businesses of all sizes, but you must meet certain salary and employment requirements to qualify for its PEO.

When we spoke with ADP sales representatives, they told us they could provide PEO services for a minimum of two employees and a base payroll requirement. The two employees could be full- or part-time staff, depending on your agreement with ADP.

Our hypothetical business was based in New York. For that state, ADP has a minimum payroll requirement of $75,000. This number varies by state and will likely be waived if your company has more than a certain number of employees. (These requirements, while more specific than those of other PEOs we evaluated, aren't out of the ordinary for this industry.)

ADP doesn't require long-term contracts, but it asks that you provide 30 days' written notice to end services with the company. This is a standard requirement among PEO companies we reviewed.

If you partner with ADP, you're investing in a bundled PEO solution. This means you can't add or remove services to fit your business's needs. Some PEO services we reviewed offer tailored solutions, so if you only need payroll and benefits, the company will provide and charge you for those services only.

ADP is a very large company, meaning its services are reliable and you can get the level of coverage you need. Some smaller PEOs may provide more personal customer service but lack coverage in certain areas compared to a large company like ADP. Of course, it depends on the company and what you expect as a business owner. There are pros and cons to partnering with big and small companies, and it's important to consider which best fits your business.

HRO Services

ADP is a comprehensive PEO that also offers HRO services, which often make sense for very small businesses looking for basic HR support. The agreement will take a different shape from your PEO service, but you'll be able to enjoy many of the same features, including payroll outsourcing, talent acquisition, compliance and risk management support, pay and tax administration, an online HR and payroll platform, and employee handbook creation.

As a major HR provider in the U.S., ADP can fill almost any HR need your business could have. The contract structure will differ from its PEO offering because it doesn't require a co-employment model. This may add flexibility to your service, but you'll have to work directly with ADP to find the right HRO agreement for you and your business. You can view ADP's full HR offering here.

One of the highlights of ADP's HRO offering is its benefits packages. As one of the largest HR support providers in the nation, ADP has solid benefit options for small businesses. It also offers intuitive and simple dashboards where you can view your benefits, make adjustments and handle all your related services.

PEO Features

ADP TotalSource has a full-fledged PEO, with comprehensive solutions in payroll, benefits, HR management and training. Its PEO services include the following:

  • HR services: ADP TotalSource includes services like HR management software, ACA documentation and compliance, handbook development, recruiting and onboarding, productivity monitoring and assessments, employee document management, termination and dispute assistance, and state and federal labor law compliance. You can view ADP's full HR offering here.
  • Benefits: TotalSource offers standard benefits packages, including 401(k) plans, employee wellness programs, and vision, dental and health plans. One factor unique to ADP is its size – TotalSource houses more than half a million employees under its umbrella. The size of the organization, combined with ADP's conservative approach to bringing businesses on board, means that benefit rates should stabilize across all offerings. You can view the total benefits here.
  • Payroll: TotalSource provides payroll processing software, a mobile app for time management and custom payroll reporting. It can also handle state and federal tax compliance issues and help you track paid time off, sick leave, and other payroll processing features. You can view the company's full payroll services here.
  • Risk and compliance: This PEO offers regulatory compliance on all major safety, health and employment laws. It provides OSHA reporting and compliance, and it can arrange onsite inspections. ADP partners also have access to risk training and materials to promote a safe and healthy workplace.


ADP provides the standard training resources associated with a PEO service. It can provide onsite inspection and safety training, as well as online courses for HR topics like conflict management, and coordinate with you on what types of sessions your business needs most. Because of the size of ADP TotalSource and its services, it can likely support all your training needs. It provides both in-person and online training.

Customer Service

ADP provides a full-service team to its customers in addition to experts in each specific area (HR, benefits, payroll, etc.). Like many of the PEOs we evaluated, ADP provides a point person to facilitate your services and provide you with HR support. The difference is that ADP's point person is certified by the Society for Human Resources Management, meaning your business can utilize the knowledge and support of a verified HR expert.

When evaluating ADP TotalSource, we set up a hypothetical small business and interacted with ADP representatives. We spoke with the company's representatives over email, live chat and the phone. In all instances, ADP's sales team went above and beyond our customer service expectations. They provided solid information and advice about the services and additional details based on our business's needs. They also gave us advice about considering other PEO services for our business, something that none of the other companies we evaluated did. This level of attention from a company as big as ADP signals the value of this organization's services. It's also why ADP earned our pick for the PEO with the best customer service.


There's a salary minimum to enroll in ADP's PEO, so very small businesses that can't afford to pay certain salaries have to use the ASO (administrative services organization) solution instead. These services resemble PEO services but without the co-employment model. This is just a minor drawback, considering your company can still qualify for service through ADP, but it may not be as comprehensive.

Editor's note: Looking for the right HR Outsourcing services for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

ADP TotalSource

ADP TotalSource

The Best HR Outsourcing Services of 2020

The Verdict

ADP TotalSource offers a wide variety of exemplary HR, benefits and payroll services. For that reason, ADP earned our pick for best customer service PEO and best HRO benefits administrator.

Matt D'Angelo
Matt D'Angelo
Matt D'Angelo is a contributor covering small business for and Business News Daily. After graduating from James Madison University with a degree in journalism, Matt gained experience as a copy editor and writer for newspapers and various online publications.