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Payroll processing....

Ken Bozzini's Profile
We are a private company with 55+ employees with 1 employee in OR. We have a 401k and FSA, and use payroll to track PTO. We currently use ADP, along with its tax filing services. We seem to be averaging a bit over $500 per month for this service, which I think is high.
Does anyone have any alternative suggestions / contacts? Also, any other cost data points for me to compare against?


John Kogan
Title: CEO/CFO
Company: Proformative, Inc.
(CEO/CFO, Proformative, Inc.) |
ADP vs Paychex - ADP has the scale, so they are not easy to beat. However, there are certainly alternatives and it is a competitive marketplace. Check out: And, if you want to integrate with other HR services you can try Trinet I typically bid this stuff out annually. Let them know that their competitors are in the bidding process and you can drive multiple rounds of bidding and sometimes open up special discounts which the companies use to win market share from specific competitors. Of course there is more here than straight monthly cost/person. You also have to take into account the switching cost, how well your current provider is integrated and how well the others would integrate, as well as ease of use and reporting. Any of those factors may trump the cost from the provider.
Christopher Spratt
Title: Director Global Fin. Systems
Company: Wilderness Trail Bikes, Inc.
(Director Global Fin. Systems, Wilderness Trail Bikes, Inc.) |

At a previous company (of a similar size to yours with OR employees as well) I switched us from ADP to a company called Emplicity. I was extremely happy with them all around. We used them as a PEO, but they also provide payroll only solutions. Great customer service, very personable and hands on. I worked with Victor Tannon to get setup.

Richard Connelly
Title: CFO
(CFO, ) |

$500 per month is less that $10 per employee. That is cheap. Stay with the ADP contract as long as you can.

Randal Shields
Title: Consultant/CFO
Company: Randal Shields, CPA
(Consultant/CFO, Randal Shields, CPA) |

I agree with Richard Connelly. Seems that $10/EE per month is cheap, given you are using them for payroll processing, 401k plan, and payroll tax services. Each layer adds costs.

If you are happy with what ADP is providing and the service response, don't see much savings opportunity here. The other consideration is making the conversion if you go with another service provider. I've been through this, they don't always deliver what they promise during a conversion, and with the size of your company, probably represents an extended payback - depending on the conversion costs with the new service provider. Typically this is not free, but is negotiable.

Overall it's a balancing act, how bad do you want or think you need to make a change vs. the internal resources to accomplish this vs. the financial return/benefit considerations?

Joseph Bowman
Title: VP Distribution
Company: The Payroll Source
(VP Distribution, The Payroll Source) |

Ken , I think $500 per month for 55 employees is too expensive also.... Shop around!

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

A few years ago we switched from ADP to Paychex, primarily due to service issues but we were able to measurably reduce the processing costs at the same time. Paychex is our current processor (401k, FSA, insurance deductions, etc...) and we pay appx $2250 / month for 230 employees. I think your rate at ADP current at $10/employee is fairly good. Feel free to shop around but I don't think you will find significant savings. Good luck. If you are happy with their service, I'd save your time, focus on something with more cost/benefit impact.

Joseph Bowman
Title: VP Distribution
Company: The Payroll Source
(VP Distribution, The Payroll Source) |

A couple of factors will dictate not "if" but "how much" you can save. Factor 1 being Time & Attendance. If you currently own your time management or lease through a POS system any service can customize an import and the per payee rate can decrease significantly. Factor 2 is number of pay periods per year. Law only demands employees be paid at least bi-monthly. Simply switching to bi weekly can reduce cost. Many factors are considered in determining true cost so look into all the charges. If there is a set up or admin fees for new hires, terminations ect. your cost may not be calculatable and could end up higher than you currently pay.

Joseph Bowman
Title: VP Distribution
Company: The Payroll Source
(VP Distribution, The Payroll Source) |

Just wondering if you were able to find alternatives and what your experience in searching has been..

Gerald Norris
Title: Investment Advisor Rep
Company: IAI
(Investment Advisor Rep, IAI) |

I think some of the payroll services operating with a 401K option might be giving you a great deal on processing costs while giving you less of a deal on the 401K option. While you are buying into a great payroll plan, you might have been distracted from looking at other 401K options.

Norman Wirtz
Title: CFO
Company: McCracken Financial Solutions
(CFO, McCracken Financial Solutions) |

we were dissatisfied with the cost of ADP for our staff of 50. By moving to SurePayroll, we will reduce our cost by over 50% from $8/check to aproximately $3.50/check. This includes the full gamut of 401k, regular and Roth, Medicsl, Dental, etc deductions plus all appropriate tax filings.

Also, SurePayroll charges by the month, not the payroll. As we are on bi-weekly, we also will save the charges for the 25th and 26th payrolls.

Jennifer Eversole
Title: Partner & Knowledge Enthusiast
Company: Management Stack, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Partner & Knowledge Enthusiast, Management Stack, LLC) |

As a veteran of the payroll service bureau industry, I would recommend that you look at an independent payroll provider. Often, the service level of the smaller providers is much greater than that of ADP or Paychex. When performing your due diligence, there are a few important things to consider. Ask for a copy of the payroll provider's SAS70 Type II and review the exceptions carefully. Ask about their data center to be sure that there is sufficient security and redundancy. Demo the software to be sure it can support your needs. There are a lot of great companies out there than can significantly reduce cost while increasing service.

Gerald Norris
Title: Investment Advisor Rep
Company: IAI
(Investment Advisor Rep, IAI) |

I have approached a few small bookkeeping services that offer payroll service recently. There are so many advantages to using a service like this, as they can be more flexible and have connections with financial advisors, CPA's, etc. who they can bring into the picture very quickly at reasonable expense on other issues facing small business.
One of the things I do for local bookkeeping service's / payroll processors, is explore affordable qualified plans and benefit solutions for the client. Customizing service per client has become an art form and requires effort, but the client served much better and becomes a valuable referral. And the partnerships and technology are out there to use and work with. I encourage people to bring their business local as this networks community. We already know what the alternative morphs into.

George Hernandez, CPA
Title: Consulting Controller
Company: Ravix Group
(Consulting Controller, Ravix Group) |

This discussion provides good agreements and useful points when considering payroll service providers. The large services providers such as ADP have made acquisitions to stay competitive in many compensation related areas including consolidated reporting and analysis and customer service. Having implemented and administered several payroll services, ADP stands ahead of the rest with vertical and horizontal depth for startups and large clients such services as TotalSource, a PEO (Professional Employee Organization) service but critically important is your own negotiating skills and the ADP team assigned to the company. It can be difficult, if not a deal killer, when you don’t get the response you expect from your assigned team. My suggestion is to start a requirements list for your company, through everything employee related onto the list because today you can save the company and employees money and time by outsourcing services not previously considered a candidate for outsourcing. Then invite in different providers and edit your requirements list and you go along. In a short time your list will flush out a leader for you, then back to your negotiating skills. If you need detail assistance or superior ADP contacts please feel free to contact me – georgecpaatgmail [dot] com. Finally, I do have a bias towards ADP because I have been able to trust them, get good service and good pricing. Be very careful with small payroll services providers because the end liability could end up all the way back to the directors of the company.

Steve Johnsen
Title: Compliance Lead
Company: ZenPayroll
(Compliance Lead, ZenPayroll) |

I worked for Paychex for several years and now work at The large companies like ADP and Paychex have been around for decades. They started out as payroll companies in the old days and have very slowly adapted to technology of the modern era. Typically, their applications are slow, primitive, and not well integrated with some of the most exciting business management software now available. Here are some things to consider:

This should not take more than a few minutes even when switching mid-year. With my experience at Paychex, it can typically take several days to set up. You should NOT have to attend meetings with sales reps or fax off dozens of documents before you can run a payroll.

You should be able to run payroll on any tablet, phone, or computer, period. It should be easy to use and not take more than a few minutes to process.

The cost of services should be completely transparent and affordable. Hidden fees are very common in the industry and the price you are quoted is rarely the price on your invoice. $500 a month for 55 employees is expensive.

Partners & Integration-
You'll want a payroll provider that can integrate with a multitude of new HR and accounting software. Amazing new software is being created every day and the old companies are slow to adapt and integrate.

Topic Expert
Barrett Peterson
Title: Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis
Company: TTX
(Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis, TTX) |

Your pricing appears rather reasonable at somewhat under $10 per employee per month. I am not sure the distuption of a change is needed.

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