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Who is ADP (and are they the right fit for my business?)

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    Buying your first home is a big, exciting step — but it’s also one of the most stressful events in life. You’re looking for an affordable house in a great neighborhood that will fit your needs and wants – and there are so many to choose from. 

    Finding a new payroll provider is equally stressful. You need to accommodate your growth as a business, customize your features, and make sure it’s a financially wise decision for your company.

    Knowing what you need now and where you want to go is important to know before you start looking for a new provider. Once you’ve established your goals as a business, you need to figure out what you’re looking for. 

    At Whirks, we strive to help businesses get one step better every day – and part of that is choosing a supportive payroll partner that will grow with you. We recommend you ask yourself three critical questions during your search: 

    1. What are the features? 
    2. What’s customer service like? 
    3. How much does it cost?

    Asking these questions will help you find the right payroll provider. If you’ve already begun your research, you know that the first name you see is ADP. They are the biggest and oldest house on the block – so you’re probably already doing research on ADP and if they are the right fit for you. 

    Who is ADP? 

    ADP (Automatic Data Processing) was founded in 1949 by two brothers, Henry and Joe Taub. For the past 72 years, they have remained the leading giant in the payroll and HCM industry, writing one in six paychecks in the United States. 

    This cloud-based solution helps you run payroll outside of the office environment. Their configurable platforms for payroll, HR, time, and benefits allow them to serve almost a million clients in 140 countries. In addition to payroll services, ADP offers multiple different service options to add to your payroll package like HR services, PEO and Human resource outsourcing options, benefit and insurance options, and even custom integrations. Regardless of your employee count, ADP offers a variety of different service packages that can be configured to meet your specific needs.

    As with any large service provider, you get the potential of customizing a solution that’s right for your business but you will not receive the same camaraderie and support that you would with a smaller, independent payroll partner. This is why it’s important to know your values and business goals before making a big choice. 

    What services do they offer?

    ADP offers a scalable, cloud-based payroll solution that can accommodate a company of any size. For small businesses of 1-49 employees, ADP offers a platform called Run. For large and midsize businesses, they offer Workforce Now. All of their modules are available a la carte, allowing you to integrate different third-party providers into their system. 

    The four essential HCM modules you need to examine when looking for a new provider are payroll, time and attendance, benefits administration, and onboarding. ADPs platform allows you to manage all of these modules – however, most national and independent providers offer the same intuitive software. 


    ADP’s system efficiently and quickly processes payroll for salaried or hourly employees via direct deposit, check, or pay card and supports PTO requests and approvals on the web or via their mobile app. ADP also offers an on-demand pay option called Daily Pay which gives employees access to “earned but unpaid income.”


    Their timekeeping solution includes mobile and online clocking capabilities, as well as physical time clock options. Their solution flags employees if they’re going into overtime. This will help you stay compliant and transfer your team from part-time to full-time benefits. 

    Benefits Administration

    ADP gathers benefits information and keys it into Workforce Now to pull deductions from payroll and support employee self-service such as benefit elections and plan comparisons. It also automates Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance using payroll, time and benefits information. ADP also offers carrier feed connections from their benefits administration platform to benefit plans for large, enterprise companies.


    Once you’ve hired a new employee, ADP will gather all the data from the application process and transfer it to your HR system. This will utilize your time better and make your job application process completely paperless. ADP offers Work Opportunity Tax Credit services as well which can be added into the onboarding process for tax credit tracking. 

    Keep in mind – this is just a brief overview of what any HCM software can accomplish! There are many additional services and products ADP offers, and this is a small sample of all they have to offer. But it’s essential to understand how these basic features will relieve you from wearing too many hats. 

    Customer Service 

    ADP is committed to delivering excellent customer care, but with close to a million customers, you can’t expect to speak with the same representative each time you call. Most payroll issues are time-sensitive, so you want to avoid being stuck on hold for hours – it can make a quick fix (i.e., amending a check) turn into a long-term problem (losing an employee).

    This is often a top complaint of former ADP clients – not being able to resolve a service issue with a representative quickly.

    A payroll partner with excellent customer service can be a game-changer for you and your team. You can avoid big mistakes, missed information, and other messy situations if you have a dedicated customer care specialist assigned to your business. 

    As a growing company, you know how important customer service is. It can make or break your reputation. A smaller, independent payroll provider typically outweighs a national provider in this realm and can prevent you from future headaches if you’ve experienced tax or compliance issues in the past.


    You’ve established the features you need and the customer service you want – but how much is it going to cost? You need to know what you will be paying for upfront so you can budget better for your business.

    ADP has a variety of pricing package options. Usually, they do not make you sign any contracts – their service is month-to-month. Their pricing is contingent on the modules that you want and the number of employees that you have. It is charged per pay period – so if you pay your employees weekly, you will be charged 4x a month per employee. 

    If you do work with an ADP sales rep for pricing, you might opt for an annual contract to get deeper discounts or guaranteed yearly pricing. Often ADP is best known for waiving implementation fees and discounting their first year of service by up to nine months. A standard price offering at ADP is to receive 3 months of free payroll service when you sign up. 

    Be aware that ADPs website doesn’t list any pricing – you have to book a call with a sales rep to learn more. 

    Is ADP the right fit for you? 

    ADP offers payroll and HCM solutions to any business size, promising to deliver top-notch solutions with their powerful, all-in-one technology. Whether you want payroll, an entire HCM module, or a PEO option, ADP customizes your plan and price based on what you need. 

    They are the mansion in the payroll neighborhood. Established and respected, they do a lot of business for leading industry names. Because of their experience and large salesforce, they have distinct advantages, like their customer base, over other payroll providers. 

    If you are an experienced owner who wants to grow your business fast – then ADP might be a great fit for you and your organization. But if you’re a smaller company that prioritizes your team and values tailored customer care, it may not be the best choice for you. 

    It’s important to ensure that your monthly cost aligns with the quality of the software and the helpfulness of the customer care team. After all, you wouldn’t want to purchase a house that doesn’t accommodate your needs. 

    Check out our article on the 5 Critical Questions to Ask a Potential Payroll Provider so you can equip yourself with the knowledge you need to get the best service possible and get your business one step better every day.