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ADP vs Paychex – Payroll Processing Providers Compared

Kelly Zawalski's Profile

ADP vs Paychex

We are a 75 person private Company looking to transition from an independent payroll service provider to a SAS 70 Type II provider this year. We are in the process of evaluating ADP vs. paychex, but are open to considering other providers, as well. Top priorities are payroll processing, customized reporting and time and attendance.  Eventually, we will look to adopt HRIS capabilities with the selected provider. 

Initial assessment is an industry leader with scale, intuitive web interface, integrated reporting suite, so-so performance evaluation automation capabilities with base level HR functionality, and team-based support model.   Assessment of Paychex is: dedicated customer support representative, new integrated OneSource interface is getting closer to ADP look/feel but is integration of multiple products. (Not sure if this impacts quality of service/reporting capabilities). 

For those of you with experience with one or both of these providers, I would appreciate your input on the following:

ADP Team Support model vs. Paychex dedicated rep model; the current service level with our existing provider is excellent so this is important for us.

Experiences, good or bad, with new Paychex OneSource product.

Cross-module reporting capabilities with Paychex One Source (i..e. Time/Job Costing detail combined with Payroll data).

Other SAS 70 Type II providers that we should consider.

Editor's Discussion Summary:
  • Key elements to consider are services provided and support
  • Another larger competitor is Paylocity
  • ADP may be more expensive
  • Multi location and manager access need to be considered
  • ADP reporting may have had problems
  • ADP's Workforce solution may have some advantages
  • Some say Paychex has better service
  • ADP may be a better fit for companies with 500+ EEs
  • Having a great dedicated rep is often the difference in success
  • Harpers, PayCom, FirstPay, Acentis and others mentioned
  • Plus much more below!

After you read below, take a look at these reviews of ADP:


Dave Webb
Title: CEO/CFO
Company: DWMC

I've done some similar analysis, though not specifically with ADP and Paychex. One firm to consider is Paylocity. They are the new generation, web-server based systems and services.
Good luck!

Sarah Jackson
Title: Associate Editor
Company: Proformative
(Associate Editor, Proformative) |

In addition to the excellent insights from the community on this page, take a look at this free resource here on Proformative titled:

"PayChex vs ADP Info"


Best... Sarah

Topic Expert
Shannon Mathews
Title: Controller
Company: Aldrich Services LLP
(Controller, Aldrich Services LLP) |

I agree, we switched to paylocity last year. While ADP definitely has some of the best bells and whistles, Paylocity has a good portion of them as well. The ones that ADP has vs Paylocity weren't worth the 2x cost of ADP vs Paylocity.

Josep Esparraguera
Title: VP Finance and Administration
Company: Linens of the Week
(VP Finance and Administration, Linens of the Week) |

I am VP Finance and HR for a multi state operation with 850 associates. Currently with ADP PayExpert and evaluating Paylocity now and with not much time left to complete the analysis. Problems in ADP are allowing HR managers at locations to access data in a Read Only manner for only their location and current without HRB for benefits management(but considering adding it if we stay with ADP). Any thoughts?

Brigid Foster
Title: CFO
Company: H stern Jewelers, Inc.
(CFO, H stern Jewelers, Inc.) |

We have some very specific experience with Paylocity and multi location. We were happy with them until we have had issues with payroll tax filings in the US Virgin Islands. They have not been able to do what we need. Other than that, they have been fine.

Ken Gruber
Title: CFO
Company: St. Dominic's Home
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, St. Dominic's Home) |

ADP's reporting capabilities and access to "your" data is difficult if not impossible. We're slightly larger user of ADP products and are looking at Ultipro and Kronos. ADP is not an integrated platform its a mainframe system with limitations

Victor Lobo
Title: Vp of Sales
Company: Blue Marble
(Vp of Sales, Blue Marble ) |

Are you on ADP current platform? We were on their legacy platform until a year ago. We looked at Ultipro and Workday but decided to upgrade to ADP's Workforce solution. We are using them for payroll, HRIS, and time keeping software. We now have a better reporting system then their older reportsmith reportwriter giving me access to all data on the fly. We got assigned to a different service team with the new software and our service has dramatically improved. And it was much less expensive than the other 2 options

Ken Gruber
Title: CFO
Company: St. Dominic's Home
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, St. Dominic's Home) |

we already use the workforce solution and our experience is that if you like their standard reports its fine but anything else is almost impossible to get without getting their programmers or even a third party programmer involved.

Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Pro Tech International
(Chief Financial Officer, Pro Tech International) |

I have extensive experience with ADP and some experience with Paychex. I prefer the service levels provided by Paychex over ADP. Both companies accurately served my basic needs of providing weekly/bi-weekly/semi-monthly payrolls. They also both did a good job of taking care of tax reporting.

The biggest complaint I have about ADP is with access to "My" data. If you want to get data in any format that is different from a canned report, you will have to pay for it. There is no reason companies should be forced to pay for ADP to develop a report when simple access to the database would work just as well.

My other big issue is with the service levels at ADP. Typically, you will be assigned to a service team. They do a good job of selling companies on the benefits of having a team that can help you, but, in reality, the assistance is limited and when you are under the gun with an immediate need, you are very likely to be disappointed. I found Paychex to be very responsive and willing to help me with the business needs that arose.

Having said all of this, ADP is very good for extremely large companies that have multi-state needs. I ran a 75 person company, (obviously not a large company), with locations in 11 states and had no issues with regard to tax reporting, which can get very complex when you have to file quarterly returns. Unfortunately, my business was in Las Vegas and I had to work with people in San Francisco. Not convenient. I can not speak to Paychex's capabilities in this arena as my experience with Paychex was in a single state operation.

An earlier posting recommended you look at Paylocity. I offer that you should take that a step further and look at a few of the local/regional payroll companies out there, especially if you are a single location business and do not anticipate crossing multiple state lines. If you are comfortable the smaller company can handle your tax reporting requirements, then you will very likely find that their customer service will be very high because they know that is the one area they can compete with ADP on and win every time.

Dan Ryan
Title: CFO
Company: Privately held
(CFO, Privately held) |

Great point about local providers. One thing about the big guys is that their service level is much (and I mean a lot) lower. I got very frustrated with ADP a few years back with their customer support. It got better after being a very squeaky wheel, but always nicer not to have to complain in the first place.

Shana Wild
Title: Controller Consultant
Company: Tier One Services, LLC
(Controller Consultant, Tier One Services, LLC) |

Daniel - I would completely agree with your commentary about the service levels. We implemented ADP for a manufacturing business with approximately 2,000 employees (about 1,500 hourly, 500 salary). Over a three year time period our assigned service team changed multiple times, twice based on our request. We found that even at the size of 2,000 employees we were not a large client for ADP and therefore our service level suffered.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

I recommend PBI if Carle Place, NY.

They are no better or worse than ADP or Paychex?

But, they floated two payrolls after 9/11 for me when we couldn't get into our offices and deposit a/r checks. They may never ever do this again, but because of their concern for the clients, I'm a loyal customer and tell everyone about them.

PBI +1 (516) 338-5454

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Payroll Dynamics, Inc. in Hauppauge, NY +1 (631) 435-8700
Advantage Payroll Services in Freeport, NY +1 (516) 931-8400

Both excellent, responsive small payroll companies

Rebecca Prince
Title: CFO
Company: AllChem Industries
(CFO, AllChem Industries) |

We are in the process of moving from Paychex to ADP Workforce. The history of ADP and Paychex is interesting. As I understand it Paychex was formed to fill a market gap that ADP was not serving or was under-serving - employers with less than 10 employees.

Since then, Paychex and ADP have expanded into each others' markets in terms of employer size, so officially Paychex also serves large employers and ADP also serves small employers.

We have about 45 employees, and working with Paychex it was evident to me that their 'sweet spot' was companies with less than 10 employees. Certain aspects of our 401k, for example, were too complicated for Paychex systems and had to be handled manually, outside of their technology solutions (creating duplication between the online version which was 'wrong and should be ignored' and the manual version, which we had to request and had often at least a one week turnaround to obtain). Our 401k is not complicated at all for our size so this was telling to me.

In addition, Paychex technology is from my experience well behind ADPs. Even Paychex employees would openly discuss this with me (in the last few years they have been pouring money into R&D on the technology front but they have a lot of catching up to do). According to some Paychex employees I spoke to, historically Paychex was anti-technology and it seems it was not until they were way behind that they realized technology was crucial and started to focus on it. For me, the reliability, flexibility and speed of the technology is absolutely critical so this was a major motivator for us to move.

Another comment I would make is that both ADP and Paychex try to up-sell you on their committed HR person/dedicated rep solutions. We had this with Paychex and I have found that the value of it really depends on which reps you are assigned. Some of them are awesome and others are mediocre. If you get someone mediocre, you may as well just have the basic solution and be calling into the general customer service center - you will probably get the same person answering the phone. At Paychex (I can't speak for ADP because we did not sign up for this option) the awesome reps are often promoted so you can be left with the mediocre ones. There was fairly high turnover with the reps on the payroll side, although we had an awesome 401k rep who was with us the whole time (she was burdened by mediocre technology but delivered us awesome customer service).

In coming to the decision to move to ADP, I've talked to a lot of customers of both ADP and Paychex, and also 3rd party vendors who work with both companies. My overall view is: don't expect perfection from either. Both will make mistakes. The differentiating points I have heard over and over again are, as mentioned above, 1) ADP is ahead on technology, and 2) if you are a larger employer, ADP may be better able to handle your complexities.

Rob Senders
Title: Independent Contractor
Company: Macheen
(Independent Contractor, Macheen) |

All payroll services generally do OK when everything is as it is supposed to be and can correct simple errors, but ADP has particularly weak service for small to mid-sized companies (I think they do better at very large companies). If you speak with people who work in the "rent a CFO/Controller" roles who deal with lots of payroll systems for small sized companies, they all have ADP support negative experiences.

It's a function of their process: when you call in you speak with someone with almost no level of knowledge, their job is to assign a case number. Following up on a case number once you have one is often frustrating as you rarely talk with the same person who agreed to "fix" the problem previously.

Secondly, their ability to deal with problems of medium and greater complexity is sorely lacking. They are supposed to be payroll experts, but you find many times you know more about subjects than they do. One example I had was trying to shut down reporting in states in which i no longer had employees (and felt it highly unlikely i would engage employees in that state again in the future). You would think they would be good at helping with something like that, but in fact they were terrible. After I finally figured out the forms to submit myself and closed them off, I would find ADP would have reopened the state.

Saul Kemble
Title: Accountant
Company: National Association of Social Workers C..
(Accountant, National Association of Social Workers CA Chapter) |

I focus on cost, and outside of doing the payroll in-house I found ADP to be the most competitive from the cost perspective. I have not had any service issues and almost never have to actually call them. I have not shopped the rates in over two years, but ADP also has not given me reason to by raising rates.

Topic Expert
Shannon Mathews
Title: Controller
Company: Aldrich Services LLP
(Controller, Aldrich Services LLP) |

We experienced the exact same frustrations which was a primary driver for our move to Paylocity.

Bruce Director
Title: owner
Company: Bruce Director Consulting
(owner, Bruce Director Consulting) |

When I took over the accounting for a small business (staff of 10) they were using ADP.ADP's customer service was miserable and they charged premium prices.
After one year of being frustrated, I phoned Paychex and have been happy ever sense.
Their price was 33% lower than ADP's and their customer service was 33% better (i.e. quicker payroll delivery, quicker return phone calls).
I think that ADP main focus is on bigger businesses.

Kurt Kipfer
Title: Retired
Company: Retired
(Retired, Retired) |

I couldn't agree more. ADP customer service has been spotty and sporadic. Since our move from ADP to Paychex, the payroll processing efficiency has gone up 200% with better customer services and measurably lower fees.

Keith Taylor
Title: CFO
Company: Lyris, Inc.
(CFO, Lyris, Inc.) |

What you didn't indicate in your initial question was your location, how many sites you have, predominant Exempt vs Non-Exempt, specialized reporting needs, if any...

Look, I was Division CFO for Adecco N.A., managing a 500,000 W2 population on our own internal platforms some years ago... Yet, I experienced one of each over the years as Adecco acquired companies - ADP (SMb and Large), Ceridian, Paychex, Probusiness, even Intuit Payroll...

Amazingly none of the respondents seem to mention all the integration issues and opportunities with payroll -- Employee Self-service linked to you carriers and their benefit sites -- Employees are much happier when their payroll deductions, and life event management are completely integrated with their benefits -- not sure who can do that in the pack being offered, but my Wells Insurance Broker, working with ADP has provided one seamless interface for employees to manage their life events (time off requests, W4 changes, married, births, address moves, etc.) with their selections of 401(k), health insurances, FSA, Commute Reimbursements, etc.

My recommendation: Set up 1 day pitches from ADP, Paychex, or others and ask them about their service level commitments... (SLA) They are all as good as the service team assigned, your focus on assuring they attend to your needs; company size does have an impact, but I have been a 20 person company and received great service from ADP, so bite the bullet and meet them...

Joe Roth
Title: CFO
Company: South Shore Millwork
(CFO, South Shore Millwork) |

ADP is excellent when you have more than 500 EEs. If you have less, you will get better service from Paychex. It only matters when things aren't seamless, which happens occasionally no matter who you with or how large you are. With ADP, big accounts get personal service and the small accounts get webinars and hot lines.

Julie Church
Title: Controller
Company: Latis Networks, Inc.
(Controller, Latis Networks, Inc. ) |

We recently moved to Paychex and it has been painful. We have about 60 employees but have had several situations where they were unable to accurate calculate, pay, or report information. The time savings that were anticipated from the switch just haven't materialized. The success of the rep model is completely dependent upon your rep. Feel free to contact me privately if you want the details.

Jacqueline Segal
Title: VP Controller
Company: American Laser Skincare
(VP Controller, American Laser Skincare) |

Over the years I have used many different payroll providers. ADP is the only one that has been both accurate and easy to use. ADP has the ability to create your own standard & ad hoc reports, with minimal training.

Currently I work for a multi state employer with over 1200 employees. About 18 months ago we switched from ADP to UltiPro when we decided to implement an HRIS system. I was disappointed from the start. UltiPro does not seem to have the whole payroll tax filing under control. Nothing balances, and they cannot answer your questions. We keep getting large tax adjustments, with no answers!

Paychex works fine for smaller organizations (under 100 employees) providing you do a proper setup. I did not feel that all of their consultants had a full understanding of the payroll process.

Ceridian was a disaster both time I used them.

The main thing to consider is the implementation team, it can make or break the success of your payroll.

Lindsay Eakin
Title: Bookkeerper
Company: PayTime
(Bookkeerper, PayTime) |

PayTime in Richmond, VA has great customer service. When you call someone picks up. Any changes to payrolls are made easily without the endless phone tag like with PayChex. I have not used ADP, but I was not pleased with PayChex in any manner.

PayTime has an HR division as well.

John Krebsbach
Title: Co-Founder
Company: Relify
(Co-Founder, Relify) |

We're a small but growing company (80 people) currently with ADP. I can echo many of the comments above these solutions. We had a dedicated rep for a couple years, which was great. Once we lost her, then our service went down considerably. ADP has the scale to handle complex things quite smoothly (payroll taxes around Pittsburgh with all the townships and boroughs are intricate). However, their reporting is limited. The fact that they still deliver paper reports should be telling.

We're about to switch over to a new company in January called Paycor. They're local here in Cincinnati, have been around awhile, are growing and get good press around town. Might be worth considering if you're looking for a new vendor.

Philip Levine
Title: Principal / Co-Owner
Company: Silicon Valley West Inc.
(Principal / Co-Owner, Silicon Valley West Inc.) |

We're a small accounting and tax firm and actually leverage ADP's small business platform with our clients - Run. Your needs are more sophisticated but my spouse/partner also does interim controller/CFO work at companies 50 - 100 people and has used both firms. Her opinion is that they both offer fine products and it comes down to which support team you feel more comfortable with .... we have seen good and bad experiences with both companies. To paraphrase our Secretary of State - Ask yourself who is going to answer that call at 3 AM when you need to get a delayed payroll out?? I can't comment on the other vendors referenced but I'd make sure I'd talk to a user that had to resolve a difficult issue with the State or IRS as this is another area where the big guys seem to have good leverage IF you have the right support team assigned to you. Good Luck!

Terri Nguyen
Title: Accountant
Company: Lightworks Optics
(Accountant, Lightworks Optics) |

We are small 60 EEs company. We had ADP and every payroll we have to call them up for correction. With ADP, every time when you have correction on your payroll before submit final, you have to wait 30 minutes from ADP to reset. We talked to Paycheck and read their reviews, it came out that Paycheck have so many negative reviews from their former clients. I would find a local smaller company payroll in your state. We are locate in CA and we pick CA Payroll.

Steve Belnap
Title: CFO
Company: Obeo, Inc.
(CFO, Obeo, Inc.) |

I have worked with both of these providers with different companies. I never had a poor experience with Paychex. Customer Service was spot on each time. I have had mixed results with ADP. Most of the time it was frustrating getting people to return calls. We made a switch a few years ago to Cbiz. We have been very happy with their payroll service. The follow through has been great and they have a broad national reach. You may want to consider them also.

Phil Marinelli
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Aerosol Science Laboratories Inc & affil..
(Chief Financial Officer, Aerosol Science Laboratories Inc & affiliates) |

Considering looking at AmCheck a national Payroll & HR services firm serving the small and middle markets. We've continue to be a fast growing company and had previously used and left both ADP and Paychex due to very poor service / support for small employers. We've been thrilled with AmCheck - strong product, including web offering & extremely responsive customer service irrespective of how big or small the problem may be.

Al Holland
Title: President
Company: Masters Catalyst Group, Inc.
(President, Masters Catalyst Group, Inc.) |

We are using ADP and very unsatisfied with service levels and accuracy. PayCom has presented what appears to be a good solution for our 100 person professional services group. We are doing business in 38 states currently and expect to expand to 200 in the near future.

Has anyone converted to PayCom? What was the conversion support you experienced? Would you make the same decision again after you operating with PayCom post conversion?

Nhora Jaramillo
Title: Payroll adm
Company: Del Monte Fresh Produce
(Payroll adm, Del Monte Fresh Produce) |

We are a large company looking for options and paycom has been so far the most update, user friendly, and hunger for business. We are in 30 states, and have international payroll (EXPAT) with exempt and non-exempt EE's, drivers pay by mileage,401k, and looking to empower EE's with PTO request online. Currently we are with ADP. For payroll payforce and for time & attendance time saver. Pay force is good because is online but there are a lot of steps involve to process transactions or make EE's changes. time saver does the job but they charge for anything that needs to be done on there site. ADP GL, If we are paying you, why do we have to do it? They don't do anything but tell you how to correct the accounts.

Topic Expert
Scott MacDonald
Title: President/Owner
Company: AlphaMac Resources, Inc.
(President/Owner, AlphaMac Resources, Inc.) |

In my experience the service level in dependent on the service center you are assigned to. Very much a 'luck of the draw' situation.

The reporting issue is very important. Many times a low entry rate is offset by "custom" programming.

Good luck.

Bill Horowitz
Title: Sales Manager
Company: Advanced Payroll Concepts
(Sales Manager, Advanced Payroll Concepts) |

I find this topic very interesting, since I've worked for payroll companies for the last 13 years. I've worked for Paychex, Paycom, and have extensive knowledge of ADP. When deciding on a payroll company, it all depends on what your needs are, the size of your company, and the competency of your staff. I would use ADP if I had over 1000 ee's. From 300-999 I'd use Paycom, and under 300 I'd go with a local company. I probably would never use Paychex because they are overpriced and have awful technology, service is pretty good though.

Stephen Glenn
Title: Controller
Company: Pierre Frey, Inc.
(Controller, Pierre Frey, Inc.) |

At a previous company using ADP, we were always getting notices of late tax payments with penalties from NY State. Every quarter it was a major hassle and took a lot of time to resolve. ADP was trying to stretch the tax payments too close to the deadline. Current company is less than 20 employees, in multiple states. When I started we were with ADP, manually calling in payroll. I tried to contact them to switch to online reporting, never got a call back. After we dumped ADP to Paychex, for half the cost, I was constantly harassed by ADP sales reps trying to get us back. We had a few small conversion issues. You must know your payroll and tax situation and inform them. Our first CSR was good, then after six months we were assigned a new rep who is not as responsive or as knowledgeable. Multiple requests are sometimes needed, and emailed responses are always with a new email, never as a reply to our email. As a small business I am looking to outsource the liability of all the different state taxes to an expert. With Paychex you get decent reporting (have not tried to create any custom reports), fairly easy online transmission of payroll, reliable service and tax payments without errors. Other than tax calculations however, I don't have a sense of trust in Paychex. They offer lots of webinar's about payroll and HR, but they are really sales pitches for their HR and 401K services.

Sandy Uhrig
Title: Human Resources Director
Company: FP Mailing Solutions
(Human Resources Director, FP Mailing Solutions) |

Moved from ADP - PC Payroll to Paychex One solution 01-2012. Payroll works well, but the Time & Labor system is painful. After 16 months of hand holding our supervisors who had trouble updating schedules and entering missed punches, we are returning to ADP Workforce Now. Paychex implementation team and our current rep are great...if you have time clocks the system though is not intuitive. (130 multi-state employees with about 60 hourly).

Samuel W Reed
Title: Cofounder and CTO
Company: BitMEX
LinkedIn Profile
(Cofounder and CTO , BitMEX) |

This is off topic, but the accounting nerd in me has to point-out that the SAS-70 regulations have been replaced by SSAE-16 for financial controls, and AT-101 for non-financial controls. If you are international, look to ISAE-3402.

On-topic: I use both ADP and Paycycle (an Intuit service). My day-job uses ADP for a 3,000 employee company and they have all of the bells and whistles. However, the cost is definitely more of a consideration. I volunteer at the church and we use Paycycle for 15 employees. While for me, the cost savings outweighs the loss of functionality, it may depend on how sophisticated a system is needed to compliment your payroll manager. That being said, you can't go wrong with ADP.

matt kauffman
Title: VP
Company: Genesis Audio
(VP, Genesis Audio) |

What company would you recommend for payroll if you have less than 15 employees?

(Chief Financial Officer) |

In July we switched from Paychex to a local payroll provider. We were with Paychex for 35 years, and have seen their level of customer service decline dramatically. That dedicated rep, is the dedicated rep for many other clients and also is the first contact for software issues, and also fills in for other reps that may be out of the office. We are now with a local company that focuses on customer service.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

I had the exact same experience and resolution with ADP.

Several years after extricating myself from under their bureaucratic sluggishness, they had the audacity to send a just-out-of-college sales geek who, after my warnings not to waste my time, trotted out all of the old fashioned, hard sell techniques more appropriate for a leisure suit Larry, used car salesman than a professional sales rep. I finally had to ask him to leave because he just wasn't going to stop.

He never addressed my (our) specific needs and he was not fazed one bit by my having basically, thrown him out of my office. All the bells and whistles in the world couldn't make up for his arrogance and ignorance.

Whereas, with the local firm, the president of the firm actually visited our facility a couple of time before and after we signed up for the service.

John Harmon
Title: Owner
Company: John Harmon CPA
(Owner, John Harmon CPA) |

I have had very good luck recommending Harpers Payroll. They have better trained implementation and service people at a much lower cost than ADP or Paychex.
Much of their business is with cities and towns, which means they are adaptable to any type of rules you may have with overtime, shifts, etc. (I have audited municipalities and their payroll is as complex as it gets)

Hans Schuster
Title: CFO
Company: Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc.
(CFO, Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc.) |

Does anyone has experience with a payroll processing company called "paycom"?

David Levy
Title: CFO
Company: NAMI

We switched to Paycom about a year ago. Not overly impressed with the company or its customer service. Too many ongoing issues and some of the things we were told would be implemented have not come about. Their pricing for any product outside of payroll (HR, performance management, for example) is way out of line for a company our size (70 FTEs). We will switch to another firm as soon as we can find the time to do so.

Jesse Herrera
Title: HRD
Company: GPR
(HRD, GPR) |

From the HR person perspective:

Here is a secret payroll companies don't tell you. Payroll companies earn interest income on the "float" that is created by the lag between payroll deductions, the payment of taxes, and the issuance of pay checks, WHICH THEY KEEP. So try negotiating a reduced price as they charge Per Employee Per Month (PEPM) to process your checks, not including the other stuff. So try negotiating a reduced price or threaten to leave them. I'm doing this now and its working.

Also, a good payroll company does not mean a great Talent Management System (TMS). ADP is a perfect example; I'm currently evaluating various TMS without payroll and evaluated 20 with no payroll. Keep your Payroll and select 1 good Talent Management System (TMS) that includes Applicant Tracking, On-boarding, Performance and Learning and have that integrate with your payroll. ADPs TMS is not impressive to poor AND overpriced. I am considering Ultimate which has payroll and opting to stay for now with ADPs payroll but considering Ultimates HRIS. If they handle this well then I might recommend moving to their payroll too. Also Ultimate charges less for payroll.

Paycom has a very poor HRIS.

Regardless of whom you select I recommend building in your agreement at the launch what is called a Time line Implementation Payment, which you breakdown their implementation costs over specific time lines as dictated by you, since YOU are the customer. I have an example.

Todd Presley
Title: Executive Director of Human Resources
Company: The McEvoy Group
(Executive Director of Human Resources, The McEvoy Group) |

I was talking to Ultimate Software (assuming that's who you're talking about) and was shocked by the cost. $20 PEPM. Plus an installation fee of $115 per employee. For 300 EEs, I can spend $100k better.

David Urban
Title: Owner
Company: David W. Urban, DDS
(Owner, David W. Urban, DDS) |

My experience with a mid size payroll company, First Pay, was that they went out of business and neglected to pay $13000 in taxes they had already taken from me.

Jake Barnes
Title: Manager
Company: 4weHelp Movers
(Manager, 4weHelp Movers) |

We just got of the phone with Paylocity and I have to say, I was extremely disappointed. The sales rep was very pushy and avoided answering questions directly. We would ask her how much does ________ cost and she would start in about their satisfaction rating or cloud technology. It took asking several times to find out simple answers to pricing. Basically they are fee crazy and if you pin them down, they admit each of their "features" has an additional charge.

ADP is horrible so in comparison to one of the worst payroll services, Paylocity is a step up. Paylocity is still far below many of the options out there. We currently use Paychex and they aren't perfect (why we are looking) but they are better than Paylocity both in cost and service.

(Payroll Manager) |

Have you looked at Ascentis? They compete with the "big box players, but are privately held (vs. focused on never missing a quarterly dividend to investors!) and have about 1,000 customers. Not very well known, but their HR, payroll, benefits, recruiting and time products compare very well, and their dedicated support model (named person to speak with, ALWAYS!) gets raves from some of their customers...

Andrew Nussbaum
Title: Director of Finance and Adminstration
Company: **--**--**
(Director of Finance and Adminstration, **--**--**) |

I recently joined a very small (6 - 8 FTE) non-profit in Northern CA, however we do have a sizable "seasonal" workforce in the equation. Our trick is the HRIS piece, since the organization does not have dedicated HR staffing and has been doing payroll the same way for a very long time and we are fairly confident there are compliance issues to resolve.

Can someone please speak to HRIS quality of their chosen payroll providers. We have come complexities, so need a provider who can look at the entire operation and help us move forward in full compliance.


Barry Ross
Title: Digital Marketing Executive
Company: SmartSearch / Arvig
(Digital Marketing Executive, SmartSearch / Arvig) |

ADP & Paychex are the 2 large payroll processing companies in the US. One thing I've noticed, is that more & more companies are moving to direct deposit, & they have not passed those savings on to their customers. Payroll is becoming more difficult every day, but with technology enhancements, the cost's have come down (or at least they should) If you are still paying the same amount you were 2-3 years ago, it's time for a price check.

Topic Expert
Scott MacDonald
Title: President/Owner
Company: AlphaMac Resources, Inc.
(President/Owner, AlphaMac Resources, Inc.) |

Your question is very difficult to answer, as you have seen from the answers you have already received.

There are other alternatives outside of the two you have mentioned as well. Paycom being one.

I have found that from a service standpoint the service depends on the "team" you are assigned to. Some companies us a "tag team" approach to small businesses. Others have true dedicated service personnel. I prefer having a dedicated person I can talk to when there are problems.

You really need to prepare a list of needs and desires. The answers you have received so far will give you a pretty good list of questions to ask.

Then do extensive interviews with at least 3 providers. You need to determine what is important to you in a solution.

One final thought, ADP used to be the gold standard, but I found that they were a little too big and a little too expensive the last time I went through this exercise. Plus they wanted to use the "tag team" approach to service.


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