ADP TotalSource Review 2023: Pricing, Features & More
This article is part of a larger series on Payroll Services.
ADP TotalSource is a professional employer organization (PEO) service offered by ADP, a well-known provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions. As a PEO, ADP will serve as a co-employer, enabling it to handle day-to-day human resources (HR) tasks for you so you can focus more on growing your business.
ADP TotalSource provides small to midsize businesses (SMBs) with hire-to-retire HR services, compliance assistance, and complete payroll administration. Certified by the IRS and the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), it’s a solid PEO with a strong reputation. In our evaluation of the best PEO companies, ADP TotalSource earned an overall score of 4.12 out of 5.
- Highly experienced PEO that’s IRS- and ESAC-certified
- Excellent range of features
- Access to Fortune 500-level benefits
- Dedicated support specialists
- Pricing isn’t transparent
- Customer service isn’t always easy to contact
- Recruiting services, time tracking, and staff scheduling tools are paid add-ons
What We Recommend ADP TotalSource For
For those needing expert assistance handling day-to-day HR processes, ADP TotalSource has all the necessary tools to manage hiring, payroll, benefits, and workplace safety. Dedicated support is also available, including access to employee self-service tools, an all-in-one HR platform, and competitive benefits packages that Fortune 500 companies typically offer their employees.
With its full-featured PEO services, ADP TotalSource is best for:
- Businesses with special industry-specific HR needs: ADP works with a wide variety of companies and has expertise in rules and compliances for specific industries, such as construction, education, hospitality (restaurants), and financial services.
- Companies already using an ADP product: If you use ADP Run or ADP Workforce and are looking to move to a PEO, this is a natural progression and can save you time, money, and hassle on data migration and implementation.
- Businesses that expect to grow: ADP works with large businesses, including international companies. If your company expects to expand, ADP not only provides strategic advice for successful growth but also has a comprehensive solution suite with flexible plans that can accommodate your HR and payroll needs.
- SMBs with a small in-house HR team: Outsourcing your HR administrative tasks to ADP TotalSource will help you better manage HR operations without growing your in-house HR team. The money saved from not hiring additional HR personnel can be used to fund business projects or offer quality benefits to remain competitive with bigger companies.
While ADP TotalSource is a PEO that offers solid HR support, it may not be the best option for:
- Cost-conscious businesses needing transparent pricing: ADP TotalSource pricing depends on many factors, including your location. You’ll have to reach out to a rep, get assigned a local contact, and schedule a demo to get a quote. If you want a product with straightforward pricing to help you rank your options quicker, Justworks is a great option. Learn more about its pricing and features in our in-depth Justworks review.
- Companies wanting a simple HR and/or payroll platform: ADP TotalSource’s full-featured solution suite may be too much for those looking for an online solution for basic HR or to pay employees. For more suitable options, check out our guides to the best HR payroll software and best payroll services.
- HR managers who are not tech-savvy: ADP’s software is feature-heavy and not always user-friendly. We recommend Rippling if you want a PEO with software that provides a better user experience. To know more about its functionalities, check out our Rippling review.
If you’re unsure what a PEO can do to help your businesses, read our What is a PEO article to understand how it works and the benefits of partnering with one.
ADP TotalSource Deciding Factors
Supported Business Types
SMBs needing a co-employer to help manage a wide range of HR tasks—from hiring to payroll and employee benefits
Custom-priced; you have to call the provider to request ADP TotalSource pricing details
Ease of Use
The software is relatively easy to use, but learning how to navigate through all of its features may take time
Did you know that PEOs can be certified or non-certified? Learn more about the differences between the two in our What Is a Certified PEO article.
How ADP TotalSource Compares With Top Alternatives
Starter Monthly Pricing
IRS & ESAC Certified
Growing businesses that want a highly experienced PEO
$85 per employee*
Small companies looking for a low-cost, high-functioning PEO
$59 per employee
Tech-heavy companies needing HR & IT support
$65 per employee
Businesses that want diverse benefits options
ADP TotalSource’s pricing information isn’t published on its website—and this is typical of most PEO services (Justworks being an exception). It offers custom pricing, and in determining the total ADP TotalSource cost, the provider considers your geographic location and the features selected. The representative we spoke with said its monthly fees start at around $85 per employee.
ADP TotalSource is an all-inclusive package of payroll and HR solutions, which means you get plenty of value for your money. Given that it offers employer liability insurance, online and offboarding support, training and development tools, and competitive benefits in all 50 states, it got a perfect score for this criterion.
ADP TotalSource takes on many of the standard HR tasks like ensuring workplace compliance, processing and auditing payroll, administering unemployment claims, and managing paid time off (PTO). If you are expanding your business, you can consult with specialists on workforce optimization and get merger and acquisition support. It even provides business expansion tax registration services.
In addition, ADP TotalSource comes with new hire onboarding, background checks, skills assessments, and online document management solutions. You can run compensation analyses and employee engagement surveys. Leadership programs and assimilation training for new managers and online safety awareness courses for employees are available. Furthermore, it offers performance reviews, compensation management, time tracking, and hiring tools with access to a Talent Specialist if you need expert assistance—although these are paid add-ons.
With 500,000+ client employees under its PEO, ADP TotalSource can negotiate with major health insurance carriers for enterprise-level employee benefits—the kind of benefits most small businesses cannot afford. Some of its benefits options include the following:
- Medical, dental, and vision plans
- Flexible spending account (FSA)
- Health savings account (HSA)
- Section 125 POP accounts
- Commuter benefits
- Life and accident insurance plans
- Short- and long-term disability plans
- Health advocacy services
- Employee assistance programs
- Employee discounts
- 401(k) plans
- COBRA administration
- Group legal plan
- Funeral planning services
ADP TotalSource takes care of employee benefits, such as administering the programs, deducting the costs from payroll, and ensuring compliance. It evaluates your benefits each year against your competitors and recommends changes to keep your benefits program attractive to employees and potential hires.
Learn more about benefits programs and what these involve in our article on the types of employee benefits that companies offer.
Benefits enrollments are also done online and come with reminders, including a guided enrollment wizard to help your employees select benefits and enroll dependents. With all of your company’s benefits plans loaded into ADP’s system, your staff can easily view and compare options.
Employees can use the ADP online portal and highly-rated mobile app (for iOS and Android devices) to view pay, W-2 statements, and benefits. They can also request PTO, track time and attendance, clock in and out, and contact co-workers through the app.
ADP TotalSource has helpful workforce management tools apart from payroll. With it, you can manage your recruiting process conveniently and track applicants in all stages of the process. It even has performance and learning management tools to help you determine learning gaps so that you can produce custom learning materials. You can also track your employees’ performance within the system. ADP also comes with a time and attendance tool. Both of these tools, however, are paid add-ons, pulling down ADP’s score for this criterion.
Apart from HR administration, ADP also got a perfect mark for this criterion since it offers everything that we’re looking for, including basic and customizable reports. More importantly, ADP TotalSource is certified by both the IRS and ESAC, which evaluates PEOs on strict criteria for business practices and financial reliability. According to ESAC, only around 9% of PEOs are ESAC-certified as of this writing.
As part of ADP’s PEO services, you get a dedicated team of HR experts who advise you on HR, payroll, benefits, and compliance issues. This includes providing best practices on HR processes, workplace safety consultations, an investigation team for harassment and discrimination claims, and premium support for your employees via the “ADP MyLife” advisers.
ADP TotalSource offers complete payroll administration, including audit and reconciliation services. Employees are paid either by direct deposit, pay card, or checks (ADP even offers check signing and stuffing services). It tracks PTOs and handles all deductions and garnishments. Aside from keeping you compliant with changing rules and regulations, it manages all aspects of taxes—from filing tax forms to year-end reporting (W-2s/1099s) and remitting tax payments to applicable government agencies.
You also get a dedicated payroll specialist you can contact if you have questions or pay processing concerns. In addition to providing expert advice, your payroll specialist will help manage taxes and wage garnishments for you.
The one thing that kept ADP from getting a perfect score for this criterion is that it charges extra for off-schedule payments.
We gave ADP TotalSource 3.94 out of 5 in this part of the evaluation because the software comes with a slight learning curve, and its pricing is not exactly affordable for small and midsize businesses at $85 per employee.
- Full-service implementation
- Dedicated support representative
- 24/7 support
- Online how-to guides
- Proactive compliance help through articles and emails
- Generally easy to use but with a learning curve
For new users, ADP TotalSource handles moving you to its system and assigns a dedicated representative you can contact with questions or concerns. Aside from providing access to HR specialists, it sends emails and alerts to keep you up to date on legislative changes. It even helps you track your employees’ COVID-19 vaccinations and test results.
The software is relatively easy to use, although it has a slightly steep learning curve mainly because of its many features. Its interface is generally user-friendly but some features are hard to find or difficult to navigate, such as payroll reports. A reviewer shared that “payroll is a mess,” especially if you have to give bonuses or have special deductions.
While ADP TotalSource offers robust support options that include online how-to guides, some can be hit-and-miss. For example, to get help with an employee login issue, we had to answer multiple questions and go to several links—and then were told to talk to our company’s HR support.
What Users Think About ADP TotalSource
|Users Like||Users Don’t Like|
|Excellent benefits packages||Some features are hard to find|
|Helpful account specialists||Difficult-to-use reports section|
|24/7 support||Occasional long wait times when contacting support|
Many users who left positive ADP TotalSource reviews online appreciate its reliable customer support, adding that the account specialists assigned to them have been very helpful. Several also like that they have access to a wide range of solutions, from employee onboarding and payroll to employee benefits and compliance tracking.
However, some reviewers said while its support team generally provides good service, contacting a rep can be difficult at times (or that they keep getting moved to a new rep). Others mentioned the software can be overwhelming given its many features and that some features can be challenging to use, like its reporting tool. A few reviewers also complained about having experienced occasional software and mobile app glitches.
At the time of publication, ADP TotalSource reviews earned the following scores on popular user review sites:
- Capterra: 4.2 out of 5 based on around 220 reviews
- G2: 4.4 out of 5 based on about 170 reviews
How We Evaluated ADP TotalSource
For this ADP TotalSource review article, we looked at the HR services, payroll and benefits solutions, and compliance assistance that it offers. The cost of PEO services is also an important factor, including its certification status with ESAC and the IRS. We also considered ease of use, customer support options, and user reviews. Then, we rated each function on a 5-star scale.
To see our full evaluation criteria, click through the tabs in the box below.
20% of Overall Score
We looked for providers with transparent pricing, zero setup fees, and charges on a per-employee basis.
20% of Overall Score
We looked for robust HR administrative support, from hiring to retiring, including assistance with employee career development, compliance tracking, and benefits offerings that are available across the US.
15% of Overall Score
We looked for automatic payroll runs, direct deposits, paper check options, W-2 reporting, and payroll tax processing (federal, state, and local taxes).
15% of Overall Score
In addition to having helpful features like how-to guides, dedicated representatives, and customer support options, we looked at user reviews from third-party sites like G2 and Capterra. Then, we averaged the ratings on a 5-star scale, wherein an average of 4+ stars is ideal.
15% of Overall Score
This criterion looks at how well the providers worked for the needs of small businesses, especially those on a budget.
10% of Overall Score
We checked whether PEOs provide additional HR solutions, such as recruiting, applicant tracking, time and attendance, and learning management tools.
5% of Overall Score
The IRS and the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) both certify PEOs for adherence to strict standards and ethical practices, so we checked whether these providers are certified. We also considered customized reports, as these are often for compliance issues.
ADP TotalSource serves SMBs employing fewer than 1,000 people that need full-service HR and payroll support. While its pricing isn’t transparent, and the software has a steeper learning curve than similar PEO solutions, its dedicated support staff can help you with individual employee issues and strategic concerns for the growth of your company. Sign up for an ADP TotalSource demo today.